Thinking about Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy by Dinty W. Moore

Today’s book is a nonfiction collection of essays. Le gasp!

Also, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books so thank for you very much!


Title || Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals [Goodreads]
Author || Dinty W. Moore
Published || August 2015
Form || Hardcover
Genre || Nonfiction
Rating || 3/5
Yay || The format, the humor
Nay || The humor
Summary || Dinty W. Moore writes responses to questions posed him by other writers, complete with essays to elaborate on those responses.


Have you ever read a book that just left you feeling cold? A book that wasn’t necessarily bad, but made you feel… nothing? Unfortunately, for me, this book was it.

Yeah, it was funny, but I didn’t laugh.

Humor is very hit-or-miss. Everybody has a different sense of humor. No joke delivers universally well. We argue over what jokes are tasteful and which jokes are crude. Some are supposed to make you laugh out loud. Others are supposed to make you smile to yourself and nod and go “it’s funny because it’s true.”

I’m not sure where exactly this book was trying to hit, but it missed me. I could appreciate the humor in some parts, but I snorted at best, and sort of acknowledged it but glossed on at worst. There was humor, it was funny, but I kind of hoped for more even as I was reading it.

Yeah, the format was cool, but it didn’t really add much to the content.

My favorite part of the book is undoubtedly the format. The letters are set apart on the page as actual letters. Each essay is ended with a napkin drawing of a polar bear. Some of the essays had specials formats, like facebook statuses, napkin pages, or googlemaps framing. And these were really cool.

But I feel like the emphasis of the material, the rise of emotion and the deepening of meaning were sort of lost on them. I didn’t feel as though they really added anything to the content, except to make me pay attention a little more—and the three formats I listed are not my favorite essays. (My favorite essay, for reference, is “Don’t Read This Essay”–because of the poignant note at the end, not even the humor.)

Yeah, it was memorable, but there was no oomph.

This is easily the most ephemeral part of this review. I don’t want to say the book was bad, because I don’t think it was. I don’t want to say the book was good either, though. Except for the aforementioned favorite, this book just left me feeling a little blah. I raced through it in an afternoon mostly because the style made it quick to read, and it was short.

Recommend? Maybe.
Recommended for? People who think the format sounds cool and who generally enjoy humorist essays

Thanks for reading!
Have you read Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy?
What did you think?
If not, would you want to?
What was the last book that left you feeling cold?

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