Review: The Comfort Book | Matt Haig

This review is spoiler free.

“Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up.”

Published: 2021, by Canongate.
Pages: 256
Format: Hardback
Genre; Nonfiction, Self Help, Mental Health, Psychology
Contains: Depression, Mental Illness, Suicidal Thoughts, Anxiety

‘The Comfort Book’ is a collection of little islands of hope. It gathers consolations and stories that give us new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. Matt Haig’s mix of philosophy, memoir, and self-reflection builds on the wisdom of philosophers and survivors through the ages, from Marcus Aurelius to Nellie Bly, from Emily Dickinson to James Baldwin.

I read this book from cover to cover within a couple of hours, managing to invest myself in the reflections and memoirs from Haig. However, it didn’t leave me feeling anything afterwards. It fell flat.

This book was comforting, absolutely, however, it also felt repetitive. It was repetitive to the point where the affirmations fell flat, which I’m positive isn’t the reaction Haig was hoping to evoke. There was the occasional spark of inspiration across the page, and some thought-provoking pieces, however, the vast majority of this novel was continuously flat, which was an incredible shame because I was so excited to delve into something entitled ‘The Comfort Book’ after reading something heavier beforehand.

This might be a personal preference, however, as I wasn’t fond of Haig previous instalments Reasons to Stay Alive or Notes on a Nervous Planet. Those also fell flat to me, so I’m assuming it’s simply the writing style that doesn’t resonate with me, which is completely fine. However, I was expecting more from a novel that I’d seen in the front window of all bookstores currently.

Overall, this book was an okay read. There were a few quotable segments, however, the majority felt repetitive. No matter, it must not be what I need to hear right now.


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