Diary of an Oxygen Thief


by Brisa Muscaglione, Features editor

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: May 23, 2016

Rating: 10/10


“I liked hurting girls.”

Right from the start, the first sentence from Diary of an Oxygen Thief, written by an anonymous writer from Kilkenny, Ireland, captivated my attention.

Reading “I liked hurting girls” not only made it hard for me to put the book down, but it made my mind wander. This ‘anonymous’ author did exactly what he/she had to do, which was to hook the reader (me, in this case) from the beginning.

The story is based on Holden Caulfield, an Irish art director, with a skewed perception of reality.

Long story short, Caulfield is an impulsive drinker with only one thing on his mind: to “hurt” women. By “hurt” I mean making women fall in love with him, only to eventually break their hearts. This devious plan stems from one desired outcome: Once he crushes them, he wants the women to react in a way that would essentially “hurt” him back… Twisted, right?

Caulfield goes about life for a while. He gets drunk, plays women; the vicious cycle continues. Until one day, he meets Lolita.

Lolita is the best and worst thing to happen to him. She’s given him a taste of what true love feels like; something he’s never experienced while embarking on his evil task.

With a plotline like this, how could I have anything negative to say about Diary of an Oxygen Thief?

The overall concept of the book was something I’d never heard of, which is why I really enjoyed my time reading it. The characters were raw, different, and unapologetic– the perfect combination for a New York Times bestseller.

I genuinely appreciate that the author went outside of the box for this story. So many stories have the same plot: a girl falls for a boy, they fall in love, something bad happens… Blah, blah. This story looked at love in a new light, creating something memorable and unique.

Diary of an Oxygen Thief definitely lived up to its hype, and I would recommend this book to anyone wanting some variety on their bookshelf.