If there’s one thing I learned when I was in school to become a librarian, it’s that anyone can write a book and get it published. Anyone. You don’t necessarily have to have a great idea or a unique voice; somewhere, someone is likely to publish your work. (This, of course, gives me hope when I think about how I’d like to get a book published some day.) There are thousands upon thousands of books being published every year and most, frankly, will find a small audience, if they find any at all. Some do so almost criminally, as they are insightful or energizing and are gracefully written or handled with brilliant intensity. These types of works are few and far between.
Instead, what happens most often is what one finds with My Best Friend Is a Wookiee. It’s a memoir of the author Tony Pacitti’s late-twenty-something’s life as it interacted with Star Wars and growing up north of Boston. It’s pleasant enough and is well-written. And while it’s not breaking any new territory, it definitely kept me engaged and that’s a lot more than I can say about a lot of books. It made me laugh and I could relate to a number of things the author wrote, but, in the end, I felt like, “Meh. What’s the point?” What’s the point in writing a memoir when your life hasn’t even reached thirty years of age and you haven’t had any experiences that have changed the world or at least that would be seen as unusual?
Tony Pacitti had, from what I read in his book, a childhood akin to many other kids I know: nerdy, experimented with playing in a band, made friends and lost friends, dabbled in drugs/smoking/alcohol, went to college, and fell in love here and there. In the case of this book, he just focused it through his interest in the Star Wars films. But the book doesn’t entirely depend solely on that to drive its story; it is just the anchor about which the book is held.
However, at times, it can veer away from any mention of Star Wars and yet it’s never too far from the writing at hand. I suppose if you are a Star Wars nerd and your life has revolved around the films, then you might really be interested in My Best Friend Is a Wookiee. All of this further goes to prove my point that anyone can write a book and get it published. There’s nothing that original about this book, but, thankfully, Tony Pacitti’s work is a bit above average. All the same, everyone had an awkward, humorous, interesting childhood if you write it correctly. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s nothing in this book that will likely cause you to want to spend twenty dollars to buy it, either. –Kurt Morris (Adams Media, adamsmedia.com)