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self help writer book coverReviewed by Andrea Rawson

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael Enzo is the alleged confessional journal of self-help ghost writer, Michael Enzo. Michael Enzo’s claim-to-fame is that he alleges to have written over 108 self-help books, largely on topics of which he has no experience and mostly under the names of celebrities who may or may not be aware of his existence. Written by Benjamin DeHaven, Enzo’s former friend and colleague, this tell-all provides a detailed account of Michael Enzo’s scandals and misadventures.

The book starts out with a narration of Benjamin DeHaven’s account of how he came to know and work with Michael Enzo. Benjamin describes Michael as the embodiment of chaos and Benjamin as just another one of his unwitting victims. Benjamin DeHaven claims that he is barred from discussing anything that has happened since 2006 due to pending legal proceedings. Benjamin freely admits that his one purpose in writing the book is to destroy Michael Enzo. He also states, “although my involvement with him might have yielded some benevolent results, his intent was always malicious.”

The book is a series of Michael Enzo’s journal entries, describing everything from his first (and last) sales call in the sheet metal sales industry to his troublesome history as a Boy Scout and what he learned as a leader. He spares no expense bragging about his various romantic relationships and his extensive drug and alcohol abuse. It seems that Michael Enzo’s troubles have been long in the making. Although he mentions his mother’s long-term illness, he declines to say what the illness was. He does specifically lay blame on his family in regards to his current troubles.

The narrative is entertaining if hard to believe. As a natural skeptic, I am inclined to say that this book could have easily been written by one person, as the narrative seems very close in prose to the alleged journal entries. Whether it is legitimate in its claims or entirely fabricated by Michael Enzo, we may never know. According to Benjamin DeHaven, Michael Enzo is currently wanted by the authorities after failing to show up for a court appearance. What I do know is that if Michael Enzo does indeed exist he is one messed up individual, even if he does write a pretty good story. I suppose the only thing that really matters in the end is not who is writing your self-help books but whether they actually help you. And you’ve been helped by these books in the past, you just may have the notorious Michael Enzo to thank for it.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Andi Rawson lives in Connecticut and works in a pharmacy. When she isn’t sorting pills, she spends most of her free time reading horror novels and updating her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Lagniappe Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.