Books like you

Ever read a book and realize the subject, author, or a character was very similar to you? Fiction or non-fiction?

Right now I’m reading Drunkard by Neil Steinberg. It is a guy’s - um - memoir of his realizing he was a drunk and going thru rehab.

I was never as heavy a drinker as the author, and I never hit my wife leading to a domestic battery arrest (the incident that spurred his rehab). But I did decide to stop drinking 4-5 years ago. One thing that caught my interest in the library is that the guy lives in the Chicago burbs, like me. As I’m reading it, it turns out he was born the same year as me, and like me is married to a lawyer (tho he is a newspaper columnist.) Unlike me, he is going thu AA, but like me he is a non-believer, so has trouble with the “higher-power” aspect.

Like I said, his case was worse than mine, but there are tremendous similarities nevertheless. I can’t recall reading anything else where I seemed to share so many characteristics with the author - or a character.

Have you ever experienced anything similar?

Hmmmm. This sounds like one I might actually want to pick up.

One book I really like is “Nobody’s Fool” by Richard Russo because the town where it takes place reminds me EXACTLY of where my grandfather lived and the way he describes it (and the old beat up truck the main character drives, and the diner where he’d eat, and his old crochety friends) reminds me of him to a T. It’s one I find myself returning to often.

I’ve often said I identify to an almost uncomfortable degree with the protagonist in James Blaylock’s The Last Coin.

I’ve been reading a few Penguin collections of H.P. Lovecraft, lately, with the annotations and biographical detail.

Luckily, not so much of the stories themselves are at issue, but I’ve noticed some…sobering parallels between the author’s life and my own. (Aside from his racial/class attitudes, and his comparatively phenomenal luck with women, I should note.)

Ohh…I’ve made myself sad. :frowning:

Not sure about books, but I strongly identify with the protaganist of the film Get Real - for similarity of gay experience, style of dialogue, being involved in high school journalism, being kind of geeky, strong woman friend, etc.

I read Flies On The Butter because of a recommendation in Southern Living (shut up). It was as if the author wrote my early life story - small town upbringing, large extended family, early divorce, etc. - and I could not put it down. It ended up being incredibly cathartic and helpful for me in terms of recognizing how my parents’ divorce affected me in ways of which I was unaware.

One of the characters in the YA book Trying Hard to Hear You is very much like me. It’s not just coincidence – the author knew me and based the characters on real people.

In the Lizzie Borden depicted by Victoria Lincoln (A Private Disgrace: Lizzie Borden by Daylight) I recognized some of my own less attractive personality traits.

I saw a lot of myself as a kid in Oskar Schell of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I wasn’t as bright, but I was that weird.

When I read Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy, I found that I had way too much in common with Benny, an overweight Irish girl who is cheated on by her boyfriend and taken advantage of by someone she considers a friend.

Slightly off topic - a manga like me: Lately I’ve been reading the manga R.O.D., which stands for “Read or Die”. When I straighten my hair, I vaguely resemble the protagonist, Yomiko Readman, a secret agent masquerading as a substitute teacher. She is an adult (a rarity among manga characters), wears glasses, has large breasts (like most manga characters), and spends all her available time and money on books, to the point of having to walk to a teaching assignment because she spent the transportation money she was given on books. Unfortunately, I lack her ability to take even the smallest scrap of paper and turn it into a weapon.

Parts of Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby freak me the hell out.

I felt a shock of recognition when I read Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, about a young woman striving to better herself in her profession (schoolteacher). In the best Bronte style, protagonist Lucy Snow is reserved to the point of appearing cold, although she is passionate underneath. This is necessary because she’s poor and plain and she really has to watch her p’s and q’s to stay employed and earning money. I’ve always worked at law firms and have to keep any quirkiness under wraps, as law firms tend to be conservative places.

There was a good description of Lucy Snow sneaking up to the roof of her dorm during a big thunderstorm and sitting on the roof barefoot to drink up the thrill of the spectacular light and noise show. Quoting a line from memory, the storm “forced me to live.” Good, good writing.

As a kid I read the book Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, about a kid with ADHD and his brilliant ideas, like sharpening his finger in a pencil sharpener and swallowing his house key. I’d always spent my school days wondering why the hell I was always the one in trouble and not the other kids, and now I knew: because the other kids didn’t stick their fingers in pencil sharpeners or swallow their house keys. :smack:

Later, in high school, I identified closely with Yossarian from Catch-22.

There is a very famous dead 20th C. American author whos personality was incredibly like mine,eerily so.

But I’m going to be extremly irritating and not tell you who he was because great author or not he wasn’t a particulary nice person.

Ironically, though his work was internationally feted I couldn’t stand his books and disliked both his plots and his style.

The 13-year-old protagonist of David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green is more or less how I was as a 13-year-old (although for me that was 1988, not 1982). Then again, I imagine a lot of British men of around the same age will see their younger selves in that character.