I don't normally choose to read short story type books (they always seem to be over before I can blink), but in the case of “Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor” by Robert E. Gross, I opted to make an exception. I’m sure you're probably wondering why, so let me explain… It was because of the hilariously funny story shared on the book’s back cover.
I read “young Robert barely survives being struck by flaming rocket plane,” and then my eyes moved down to “flaming hair and a knot on the back of the head would have been enough...” and I was hooked. I didn't even bother to finish reading the online blurb because I had already decided that it was a “must” read. In fact, I was so intrigued by what I had read that I didn't even notice the huge typo on the back cover. No matter, my book arrived; and I found a quiet place where I could read “Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor” and chortle like a little girl without disturbing anyone.
In “Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor,” Robert takes us on a journey through some of what (I'm certain) are his more “infamous” inventions. Each one is wacky, zany and funny, yet very logical from a child's point of view. I applaud Robert's zest for his inventions, after all how did the Wright brothers succeed if not through massive trial and error?
I do have to express my amazement that Robert did, in fact, make it to adulthood. *chuckle* I must also give a lot of credit to his parents for allowing him the continued freedom to be that “mad inventor.” (Although I’m curious when their grey hairs started coming in...)
In closing, “Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor” was a very fun, and well-written read, and I enjoyed immensely. Robert writes his childhood recounting with humor and panache and it was nice to be transported back to a time when the world was a friendlier and less complicated place. While “Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor” is a short read, it is definitely worth picking up! Five stars…
Memoir & Misadventures of a Mad Inventor
Robert E. Gross
Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Author Charline Ratcliff for Rebecca’s Reads (2/14)