D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review. http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/jun_14.htm#donovan
Michael Enzo was a fraud. He was also a philanthropist. He was also a gigolo. And a devout Catholic. He profited from people’s insecurities and when that wasn’t enough he began systematically psychologically destroying those closest to him – including author Benjamin W. DeHaven. So why would DeHaven then salvage his former friend’s journal from his New Orleans estate after Hurricane Katrina and publish it; especially since he was involved in Enzo’s self-help industry deceptions? Simple: the act of publishing a journal exposing the roots of deception is an act of contrition and an effort to undo the harm that they caused . And who will be the likely reader of Confessions of a Self-Help Writer? That would be the reader already interested in the self-help field (possibly even those already familiar with Enzo’s works) who want a deeper understanding of the entire operation, from Enzo’s personality and motivations to the author’s own rationale for participating in Enzo’s schemes. Now, forgiveness is a powerful motivator – and so is guilt. Without either in place, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day. And another powerful force at work here is egotism: specifically, Michael Enzo’s drive to control and change his world and the worlds of others. Without THAT piece in place, he wouldn’t have formed the schemes he did, nor candidly wrote about them in this journal.
Consider the power of the voice that explains his perspective: “”I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective. Besides, once you hit rock bottom, you can start publishing self-help books in your own name, as long as you’re famous. Mine will be a great testimonial to the will of men. When you’ve physically and mentally demolished the physical representation of your soul, suddenly you become an incredible healer, according to my books.” Add to this dose of autobiography a series of revelations that systematically show how darkness enters a common man’s soul and how it twists motivation to ultimately foster deceptive practices and you have a satisfying blend of autobiography, journal entries, and insights into not just one man’s obsession, but the psychological trappings of the self-help industry as a whole. Eye-opening (even eye-popping, at points) and involving, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer reads like a thriller but is true life confession at its best. D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR (Midwest Book Review)
Donovan’s Bookshelf (http://donovansbookshelf.weebly.com/ ) later in the month.
Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) Benjamin W. DeHaven Lagniappe Publishing 9780989912686 $22.95 9780988912693 $14.95 www.bdehaven.com
I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective
Posted in Ben DeHaven, Best Books of the Year, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer, Dark Humor, Enzo, Fun, New Orleans, Publishing, Satire
Tagged Barnes and Noble, Celebrity Scandal, Con-Man, Confessions, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer, Dianne Donovan, Gold we Stole from other writers, Great Reviews, Great Women, Hurricane Katrina, Meaning of Life
Richard Collier #2 Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) —Michael Enzo and Benjamin DeHaven… I don’t know if I want to buy these men a drink or punch them in the nose. Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) is a short read with far more life lessons cleverly hidden within its depths than the modest page count might suggest. Granted most of those lessons are given as a firsthand account of what not to do, but they’re there nonetheless. The novel is a breezy, easy read thanks to the impact of the characters and short chapter length. The book is presented as a journal of the main character, Enzo, with the occasional inserted timeline chapters and frequent margin comments from his former friend and patsy-in-crime, DeHaven.
Enzo’s journal chronicles his descent down the same slippery slopes he is often trying to warn us against, but can’t seem to avoid himself. Doing whatever he wants with no real regard for the consequences, Enzo leaves a trail of destruction in his wake without ever purposely being malicious. His frequent lack of any sense of morality makes those rare moments where his conscience takes control even more pointed and sincere. While Enzo is a charismatic ass people seem to gravitate towards, DeHaven, who sticks mostly to the background of the story, is more relatable and human. While some of DeHaven’s comments may border on the self-righteous, remember that no saints would consider Enzo a friend.
Benjamin DeHaven’s Confessions of a Self-Help Writer may be one of the most standout books written in 2014. The book almost demands a second read through for multiple reasons. Firstly, even with visual formatting clues, at times its difficult to separate Michael Enzo and DeHaven’s narrative. Initially this can be confusing and might throw a reader off but I don’t feel it dissuades from the overall content or impact of the book. Also it seems to make much more sense upon second reading and to quote the book “There are signs everywhere, the secret is reading them.” Secondly is that those pearls of wisdom standout even more the second time around. And finally the truly hysterical moments in the first reading are still humorous on later passes (occasionally even more so). You would be doing yourself a huge injustice to read this book only once. —
Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) Lagniappe Publishing (July 1, 2014) By Benjamin DeHaven More information available at http://bdehaven.com $22.95 ISBN-13: 978-09899126-8-6 (Hardcover) #1 Most Wished-for-Book 2014 Indie Bound Richard Collier, LSU School of Journalism
Posted in Confessions of a Self-Help Writer, Dark Humor, Enzo, Fun, Press, Satire
Tagged Celebrity Scandal, Chicago, Confessions, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer, Enzo, Hail Mary, Hurricane Katrina
Authors Reading-Review-Having no grip on “normalcy”, but somehow helping others
Confessions of a Self Help Writer by Benjamin DeHaven is a work of fiction–based on non fiction. DeHaven and Enzo have a very long history and relationship. Michael Enzo is a ghost writer for self help books. He has written many and at times has written books for those who don’t even know he has written them. Enzo lives quite the life–drugs, alcohol, prostitution-to name a few. He really only surfaces on the book writing scene when he is broke and needs something to finance his lifestyle. Enzo’s journal is found in the aftermath of Katrina, and from this DeHaven writes his book. One has to wonder if all in the journal is true or another of Enzo’s writing “stunts”–no matter what the case it is interesting reading. The eye opener is the revelation that self help books, purchased by thousands and held in reverence could be written by a character like Enzo. The stark contrast between Enzo’s life and what he writes for others is mind boggling. A man that has absolutely no grip on “normalcy”, but can write to guide and help others is truly a testament to his brilliance. No doubt when you read Confessions of a Self Help Writer you will wonder how DeHaven and Enzo stayed so entangled for so many years. Love hate relationship? No matter the reason this is a very good read. You must remember there will be offensive language, lifestyles and relationships. The next time you pick up a self help book—-remember Enzo.
October 13, 2014 in Ben DeHaven, Book Reviews, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer, Dark Humor, Lagniappe Corporate, Press, Satire
Tagged Barnes and Noble, Great Reviews, Great Women, IndieBound, Quotes
“This might be the last self-help book you will ever read!” Explains Arroe Collins on iheart radio during an interview with Ben DeHaven and the author of Confessions of a Self-Help Writer. This is powerful and really fun. The most amazing thing to us so far-is no one seems to care. Because caring that it is garbage, means admitting your a failure.
Arroe Collins: Unplugged & Totally Uncut – on iheart Radio
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, with its 243 million monthly U.S. listeners, is the leading media company in America with a greater reach than any radio, digital or television outlet. Unplugged and Totally Uncut and View from The Writing Instrument Tuesday the 5th
The Writing Instrument: http://www.iheart.com/talk/show/182-View-From-The-Writing-Inst/
New York http://www.q1043.com/onair/arroe-collins-49213/unplugged-and-totally-uncut-author-ben-dehaven-12626655/
Washington DC http://www.washfm.com/onair/arroe-collins-49213/unplugged-and-totally-uncut-author-ben-dehaven-12626655/
Broadway World-Press Release:
Foreword Magazine: “This pontificating, self-centered character offers unexpected insight in an entertaining and edgy way.”
Ken Wilbur, PHD, Marketing Magazine Journal, California: “DeHaven is either a thinking man’s Tucker Max, or an idiot’s Hunter S. Thompson.”
Donovan, Midwest Book Review “Eye-opening (even eye-popping at points) and involving, Confessions reads like a thriller but is true life at its best.”
Michael Scripps, Scripps Media: “DeHaven makes Bukowski read like a Disney story!”
Ed Helm, Studio News: “Here is one book you must read that also asks you-“What’s the meaning of life?” and is there really a God upstairs guiding your decisions?”
Richard Collier: “The standout Book of 2014. A huge injustice is only reading this book only once.”
Marc Hershon: “A rollicking ride…, a diary of sorts from a man possessed.”
AJ Klatch: “A unique piece of literature to be remembered for its originality as much as for its significance as a statement about living life in today’s harsh reality”