Back to Top

Book Review: 'I Will Be Complete' by Glen David Gold

 Tuesday, 12th June, 2018
Book Club

Staff member Maria Mendez reviews 'I Will Be Complete'

There’s a story to every person, and a story behind just that.

A walk down memory lane feels like a belittling way of describing Glen David Gold’s memoir “I Will Be Complete”. He doesn’t simply reminisce about his past; he deconstructs it, questioning every piece before putting himself back together. What’s even more curious is that there are answers he doesn’t wish to learn, and so he makes the conscious decision to leave himself, and the reader, in the dark. It’s a bold step, at times in the most infuriating of ways, but it somehow works.

There’s no doubt that the best-selling author of “Carter Beats the Devil” and “Sunnyside” is a skilled storyteller, his prose kaleidoscopic. All full of colour and texture, the words come together and become an almost palpable reality in front of our eyes.

The array of characters is impressive, all eccentric flavours and peculiar shapes. Though for the purpose of this book they are mostly narrative devices, Gold makes sure to give each and every one a voice, a life of their own, that exists beyond their meeting at a crossroads.

Written in an episodic sort of way, the reader is led back and forth in time by an ever-present author. It’s as if we are at a pub and Gold is that one person that chooses to sit by our side and starts telling us the story of his life. The pace changes naturally; there are high peaks of excitement that have him getting a little lost and then having to go back, heart-breaking moments where his voice is no louder than a whisper, and instants where he seems hyperaware, an eyelash abandoned on someone’s cheek becoming the epicentre of the universe. 

He never looks up from his beer though; or perhaps he does, but simply to gather his thoughts as he stares into space. There’s no eye contact with the reader. However, though at the beginning his tone does sound a bit arrogant, this comes across as something he himself feels and not something he is, not a matter of ego. It would be a fascinating and enlightening experience to have his mother’s book as a companion to this one.

“I Will Be Complete” is a memoir written by Glen David Gold for Glen David Gold. It’s a journey that he’s taking for his own good, to make sense of himself. Indulgent in length, it feels as if you are listening to a first draft of a novel as it’s being written, on that one moment, being born right there and then. It’s enchanting and addictive.

An ode to the fine line between fiction and reality, between what happened and what one remembers, what one was told, that happened. A story about growing up, about navigating the traumatic experience of finding out that you are not who you were made to believe you were, about growing into your own skin and finding your own space.