Monday, November 1, 2010

Everything Hurts by Bill Scheft: A Guest Review

"Everything Hurts" by Bill Scheft
Published April 2009 by Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
Source: Bostick Communications and the publisher

Summary from the book:
"Phil Camp has a problem.  Not that he wrote a self-help parody, Where Can I Stow My Baggage?, that the world took seriously and became a bestseller, or that he's been using a phony name.  No, Phil's problem is the limp he's had for months.  His constant pain leads him to Dr. Samuel Abrun, a real doctor who wrote a real self-helpbook (The Power of "Ow!") that has made thousands of people pain free.

So what happens when the self-help fraud meets the genuine item?  Does Phil get better? Can he hoble out of his own way to help himself?  Most important, can the reader make it through fifty pages without thinking, Wait a minute. Is that a twinge I feel in my lower back, or just gas?

Phil embraces the doctor's unorthodox treatments, but saves some passion for Abrun's daughter Janet - who has her own theories about relieving his pain  Meanwhile, Phil delves into his dark past with the Irish Shrink, his psychotherapist.  And to top it off, Phil confronts his nemesis, a right-wing radio blowhard, only to find out they share a common enemy - the same family.

Please welcome my husband, affectionately known here as The Big Guy, to Lit and Life.  When he saw the offer for this book in my email he insisted that we had to give it a read. So I told him I'd ask for a copy if he promised to do the review.  Without further ado, The Big Guy's review of "Everything Hurts."

For those of you that have lived in New York or just enjoy New York stories and culture, this should be an excellent book as it is strongly seasoned with a New York City flavor.  In addition, the story develops some engaging relationships between the main character Phil and his brother, girl friend, ex-wife (in abstentia), neighbor who also does work for him (and her daughter), Irish therapist and the famous author or the "Power of Ow."

You get the impression that Bill Scheft has lived a majority of this book as the characters and story come to life with his extreme wit and a*^ pain that rears its head throughout.  Having sat in disagreeable chair for a few months and picking up a sciatic pain in my leg and rear end for a short period of time, I could relate to Phil's pain.  Luckily  for me it wasn't long term or psychosomatic. His leg and b*#@ pain play the leading lady in the book and seems symbolic for his life and relationships.

Bill shows his penchant for sports and sport writing throughout and you can tell he has great experience in comedic quick-paced writing for David Letterman as he threads his wit into conversations and observations.

The book leans a bit toward a male audience, but will also appeal to women due to Phil's ups and downs with with the women in his life and due to Phil's is vulnerabilities throughout. "Everything Hurts" would be best enjoyed by a reasonably educated crowd but will appear to a wide audience. 
I'm not sure The Big Guy enjoyed this one quite as much as he had hoped to--there was very little laughing out loud--but it was a nice change of pace for him.


  1. This sounds like something I would find really interesting, and although the premise is strange, I think it would probably be a fun book for me.

    My husband is working on a review for my blog right now as well, and lets just say that things are a little dicey. He is not having fun with the book, or for that matter, the review, and says that it is like being back in school. I think this might be his first and last review!

  2. The Big Guy did very well!! It does sort of sound like a "guy" book, whatever that means.

  3. I like that The Big Guy actually wrote a review for you!!! Yay!

  4. Oh Wow, that is a great review! I will definitely want to read it, even if it is a bit for male audience!

  5. You guys have been reading alot of books that I haven't heard of - Bill used to read all the time but doesn't anymore... wish I could get him interested again.

    I'm leaving for San Antonio tomorrow - can't believe it's that time already!

  6. I love nyc books of all kinds - I'm going to pick this one up. :-)

  7. My husband has read several of my review copies... and has posted a couple of reviews even, but he's getting behind. He has like three or four that he's read now and not reviewed! He stresses too much over them. Maybe if he sees your husband doing it, it will inspire him to get going again! :)