I first picked this book up in a library. I turned it over and read Stephen King compare it to The Catcher In The Rye and Catch-22. When a writer like Stephen King talks about a book with - lets face it - doughnuts on the front, and calls it a ‘generational touchstone’, it makes you (or me, at least) wonder what the hell this book does that is so special. I was intrigued. I took the book out on a seven-day loan, for it seemed suddenly everyone wanted to find out what this book had to offer, and the library weren’t offering renewals. With almost 400 pages, I wasn’t convinced I’d get the book finished within a week, but it became clear pretty soon after I opened it up that that wouldn’t be a problem, because this is a book I couldn’t put down the first time I read it, and haven’t been able to put down any of the times I’ve read it since. I now own my own copy and have bought one for many friends. This Book Will Save Your Life tells the story of Richard Novak, a man living in LA with a little more money than he seems to know what to do with and undergoing an ‘emotional thaw’. In the opening pages Richard is experiencing an excruciating pain, although he cannot describe what it is or where it hurts. From here on in he embarks on an extensive and brilliant journey to discover the source of this pain, that is entirely lovable from beginning to end. ‘The Doughnut Book’, as I have become more fondly accustomed to calling it, is impossible to do justice to in a few hundred words simply because there is so much to it. The Guardian’s review sums it up pretty well in my mind: “like those doughnuts, it’s packed with unexpected pleasures”. If I were to choose one word to describe this book with it would be ‘unexpected’. There is no end to the surprises you’ll face once you start turning the pages here. This Book Will Save Your Life made me laugh (a lot), cry, and want to buy a copy for everyone I know. I didn’t think it was possible, but This Book Will Save Your Life really is in a league with the likes of The Catcher In The Rye. Personally - though don’t tell anyone I said - I think it’s better. The blurb concludes: “A sharp and wildly entertaining novel about new beginnings, transformation and the weirdness of LA, This Book Will Save Your Life reveals what can happen if you are willing to open up to the world around you.” It couldn’t be more fitting.