5 min read ⌚
A dreadful cover? Check!
Font you’ve probably used last to write a high school essay? Check!
An anonymous author? Check!
New York Times Bestseller? Wait – what?!
Not many books fill these criteria.
In fact, “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is the only one we can think of.
Which is why you need to read its summary.
Who Should Read “Diary of an Oxygen Thief”? And Why?
There are some books which capture something elusive, but illustrative of the time and age they are written in.
For some reason – don’t ask us one, let alone 13! – “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” did just that. It struck a chord with many people.
And it managed to rose to the top of bestseller lists straight out from obscurity.
If that’s not a reason to read a book – we don’t know what is.
And that even though he sometimes signs his emails with Tom Wilkinson or Stanley Easyday, he prefers to be identified as O2Thief.
If you have any information about him (or, who knows, her?) – well, keep it to yourself. We like our authors the way we like our Sherlock Holmes novels: mysterious.
Diary of an Oxygen Thief is a very powerful novel, deliberating realistic occasions of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us.
Remember Chuck Klosterman’s definition of a villain?
If not, here’s a quick reminder: “the villain is the person who knows the most but cares the least.”
If so, that makes the title character of our book – a super-villain.
Don’t believe us?
Here’s the first paragraph of his diary:
I liked hurting girls.
Mentally, not physically, I never hit a girl in my life. Well, once. But that was a mistake. I’ll tell you about it later. The thing is, I got off on it. I really enjoyed it.
And it doesn’t help that just below these few sentences, our protagonist/narrator/diarist compares what he does to what a serial killer would do.
No regret, no remorse.
Just good ol’ mental girl-hurting.
It sounds so appalling that we would have thrown the book straight away if it wasn’t for that past tense in the opening sentence.
As in “like no more”?
Let’s hope so.
The main protagonist in “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is an Irish freelance art director with an alcohol problem, who, even so, is pretty capable of always getting money.
As we quoted above – mentally destroying women.
In other words – doing everything possible to get their attention and then breaking up with them the very moment they fall for him.
Which is, approximately, three or four dates after the commencement of the relationship.
And then – the horror!
The look on the girl’s face, the confusion, the pain!
You wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the guy.
Strangely enough, he seems to have been – in a completely different way.
Being an alcoholic, he’s used to experiencing pain and self-destruction.
Not just because of the drinking. Quite literally, in fact!
You see, our protagonist would often pick up a fight with the biggest man in a bar so that he knows straight away that he’s going to lose.
And – since this is not a book about sudden superheroes – he does.
But that’s not the point. The physical pain is nothing compared to the thrill he gets from verbally and mentally abusing his opponent.
Now you have a clearer picture of why he does what he does with women.
After a while, the narrator takes a job in New York and moves in the United States.
However, the Big Apple – and the land of the brave and the free in general – isn’t exactly his cup of tea. On the contrary, in fact: he is annoyed by the fact that he has become a small cog in the soul-crushing mechanism of capitalism.
Wait till you hear the whole story!
Diary of an Oxygen Thief Epilogue
You see, in New York, our narrator meets an aspiring photographer named Aisling.
And he falls in love with her.
But this time it’s for real.
However, it’s also about to end pretty quickly.
Aisling and the narrator are on a date when he finds out that she’s just using him for a book-length photo essay on relationships.
And there, in public, she humiliates him as she does to him what he had done to numerous women before.
Now, to be fair, our narrator is an alcoholic and paranoid – so we can’t really be sure that this actually happens.
Or that Aisling even exists.
She may be just a part of his imagination, an embodiment of the regret and remorse he says he never had at the beginning.
“It’s like a Hitchcockian story,” says the author himself, “his view of the world.”
It’s also unsettling.
And traumatic throughout.
Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“Diary of an Oxygen Thief PDF Quotes”They say the sea is actually black and that it merely reflects the blue sky above. So it was with me. I allowed you to admire yourself in my eyes. I provided a service. I listened and listened and listened. You stored yourself in me. Click To Tweet Hurt people hurt people more skillfully. An expert heartbreaker knows the effect of each incision. The blade slips in barely noticed, the pain and the apology delivered at the same time. Click To Tweet Romance has killed more people than Cancer. Ok…maybe not killed but dulled more lives. Removed more hope, sold more medication, caused more tears. Click To Tweet They say you’re not punished for your sins, you’re punished by them. Click To Tweet The same thing happened to me, only worse. Worse because it happened to me. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
The nameless author of “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” has been described as the “F. Scott Fitzgerald… for the iPad generation” and his protagonist – who may or may not be autobiographical – to our very own teenage icon, Holden Caulfield.
If you ask us – neither is correct.
What is, however, is the fact that you’ll read this book in no more than two hours and that you’ll be unable to forget it for at least few weeks.
Some say they are touched by the overwhelming poignancy and the remorse; others that they are sickened to death by the main character’s rationalization of hurting women.
One thing’s for sure though: no one says anything about indifference.