Editorial Review: The Villians Who Snapped My Spine by A. H. Nazzareno

Editorial Review: The Villians Who Snapped My Spine by A. H. Nazzareno

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine is a memoir that, while written in a hospital bed after major surgery, manages to be filled with hope, humor, and inspirational courage.

Memoirs serve the purpose of allowing authors to tell a story that is centered around a pivotal moment in their lives. For A. H. Nazzarem, it is being diagnosed with a rare illness at the age of 30 that prompted him to write his memoir. Nazzarem wrote the story in his hospital bed in the immediate weeks following major surgery, but it is not a typical memoir.

Instead of focusing purely on the diagnoses responsible for derailing his life, Nazzarem instead dedicates chapters to the “villains” that have caused him pain and suffering in the past. These villains are anything but ordinary and range from a variety of cars to digging a cat grave and even eating a very suspicious cookie, to name just a few. Some of the memories Nazzarem recalls in his memoir are filled with laugh-out-loud moments and bring brevity to a situation that could have been much more dire. Even in the face of a life-threatening condition and uncertain future, the author never comes across as bitter or resentful. Instead, the “villains” are revealed with dry humor, and many readers will find plenty that they can relate to. Nazzarem also has an easy-going writing style that paints a vivid picture of every scenario, even if it is about a basement that is possibly haunted due to a cursed walking stick.

Not everyone has to deal with a rare and life-threatening illness, but everyone can relate to the other daily worries, such as student loans, bad weather, unreliable cars, buying a house, and more. By sharing his experiences with all these issues and contrasting them with the devastating news of his diagnosis, Nazzarem highlights how much we all have to be thankful for. Those suffering from health issues will also find inspiration in how the author is facing adversity instead of succumbing to despair.

Overall, The Villains Who Snapped My Spine is a novel that deals with a serious subject but does it in an engaging manner and without resorting to preaching or self-pity. Many readers will also find this memoir nostalgic as the author recalls happier and more carefree times in his life. Like all memoirs, this one won’t appeal to readers looking for a feel-good story from beginning to end, but for anyone dealing with “villains” in their own life, it can supply the motivation and positive outlook to stay in the fight. Nazzarem shows us that villains can be found everywhere if we look hard enough, but how we deal with them matters most.