Chameleon in a Candy Store/Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope by Anonymous
Series: The Oxygen Thief Diaries, #2
Published: 2017 by Corsair
Genre(s): Autobiography, Adult
Chameleon in a Candy Store is the second installment to The Oxygen Thief Diaries and unfortunately, it isn’t as great as the first book.
My main issue with this is the disjointed narrative caused by the sectioning. Diary of an Oxygen Thief worked for me, despite the repetitions, rants/rambles, diversions and fourth-wall breaking, because it wasn’t sectioned. The whole book felt like one long talk with a real person and I really love this aspect of that book. Unfortunately, anonymous didn’t do the same for Chameleon in a Candy Store. Although there are pros in the book being neater due to the sectioning since there are an awful lot of women included here, it made the narrative feel less genuine and more clinical. Moreover, some of the jumps from one section/woman to the another aren’t smooth, and that singular footnote should never be included. I found no point in it at all since it’s only one footnote. What’s the point of that? The Google Gods exist for a reason and if someone didn’t understand something, they can Google it or ask someone else. If there’s a footnote for each new slang that appears, cool, but no, it’s only used once and that just frustrates me a lot since this singular footnote and the not-smooth transitioning assists the narrative in being clinical.
There’s also a shift in writing style when the narrator talks about certain moments. Although I like the difference since the ‘other’ style which I assume is one used when coming up with a story line or directive or something like that in advertising, it’s a slight nuisance to me. This is because it makes—assuming that Chameleon in a Candy Store is a “semi-fictionalized memoir” like Diary of an Oxygen Thief—the book feel less like a memoir. On top of that, there’s the ending. I’m definitely still intrigued enough by the narrator’s life to want to buy the next book, and I think he’s rather a genius for using a dating site to promote his book, but by the end of Chameleon in a Candy Store, the entire book feels more like a advertisement than a continuation. Thus, these two aspects are the ones that contribute to the aforementioned ‘less genuine’ feel.
Nevertheless, the overall writing in this book has improved, though I prefer the one in Diary of an Oxygen Thief since a coherent and detectable plot line exists there. There is some imagery that I really like too, such as “[w]e cowered in some god-awful seaside restaurant that looked like it might have been on the shores of the Styx, and wordlessly stared out the window as angry white-knuckled waves repeatedly tried to grip the mainland and drag it under” (p.98). Also, I don’t know if the snippets at the end of the book are actual messages the author received from the dating site or not, but they’re a nice touch.