Reading: Phil Brody’s ESC

Phil Brody says:

I used to labor in advertising. It almost killed me. Then I began waking up at 5 AM to write for three hours before heading to corporate hell. This is what saved me. The end result was collection of indelible stories sent to family and friends under the Subject Line: ESC

Goodreads says:

Phil Brody’s ESC consists of forty-seven funny and poignant stories recounting his painfully hilarious journey growing up in the Midwest, working in the corporate world, and finally chasing his life-long dream to be a writer. The seemingly unrelated stories overlap and intertwine in unexpected ways, creating an entertaining narrative that will make you smile, cringe, and laugh-out-loud.

Hunnedo says:

A couple of years ago, I picked up “The Holden Age of Hollywood” at my local library.  A book that’s so original, it seems to need its own genre to define it. It is one of my favorite reads from that year.

ESC: a nostalgic guide to breaking up with the corporate world to pursue what you love

I was curious when I saw that Phil Brody’s new book was a memoir, because it is a departure from his last book. Again, I was not disappointed with ESC, because it takes the memoir genre and twists it into a different kind of ball game. This book winds in, out and through time, without chronology. We meet Phil Brody at different intervals in his life. Sometimes he’s a child, sometimes a naive young adult, a jerk (to put it mildly, his description is a little more descriptive), or Carefree Phil.

Sometimes he lies. More aptly, brings you into some cool Walter Mitty imaginary scenes. The best lies involve the scenarios where he escapes from the shackles in his cubicle and the world of advertising. Quitting a job looks like so much fun through his eyes. Breaking up with the corporate world to pursue what you love.

ESC is also a love story, a tribute to home. Chicago’s character is present throughout. When he reminisces about his youth, Brody brings his reader back into his Mid Western World: a world filled with dodge ball games, recess, break dancing and Haiku writing. ESC is book is for every adult who feels constricted by the conventions of adulthood, who longs for the simplicity of 7th grade, a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors,  or a first apartment. Escape is possible because Phil Brody takes us there with this book.