Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 120: Mr. Breakfast by Jonathan Carroll

by | Feb 4, 2023 | 2023 Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Jonathan Carroll, Marion's Favorite Books, Marion's Favorites, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

“People want life to be their friend. Some even expect or believe they deserve it. But I think of life only as a companion, and an unpredictable one at that. If it were my friend, life would be hurting or disappointing me all the time. But if it’s only a companion, we’re just traveling the same road together. I’m happy when it’s in a good or generous mood, but I don’t expect anything from it.”

This quote is incredibly perceptive about life. I have never thought about living life in such a manner.  Jonathan Carroll writes a story that augments this philosophical outlook in his latest novel, Mr. Breakfast.

Mr. Breakfast tells the story of Graham Patterson, a failed comedian that recently ended a relationship with the love of his life and has reached a crossroads in his life.  Patterson decides to take a cross country trip to California to figure what is he doing to do next.  Along the trip, he stops in a small North Carolina town where he decides to get a tattoo.  The tattoo artist explains the tattoo has a special ability to show the owner of the tattoo alternative lives they could have taken instead of their current life.

Patterson is shown three alternative lives and has the opportunity to visit each one before deciding on which life he wants to live in for good.  The lives are a manifestation of his deepest desires and will illuminate how we tend to write the story of our lives through the power of the imagination.

Carroll uses fantasy and surrealism to reveal that life is better as a companion than being a best friend and understanding that our choices can cause outcomes that we could have never expected.  I’m glad I read a novel like this to start off 2023 and it is good reminder that life is what you make it.


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Marion Hill