The latest release from Rachael Smith debuted at Thought Bubble at the beginning of November and it was one of the first books I picked up.
Having already enjoyed Rachael’s I Am Fire, House Party and The Rabbit it was pretty much a no-brainer that I’d give her next release a go and while this was a change to an autobiographical release from her I was keen to see what this new direction would be like.
It outlines pretty quickly just how she’s chosen to capture her thinking as she uses different versions of a big black dog named Barky to depict her self-doubt & depression. There’s a couple of roulette wheel operators in her head that spell out the random events in her life that bring with them equally random responses but rather than feeling like a collection of abstract ideas that slot into a clichéd depiction of modern life it ends up becoming much more.
The fact it’s about Rachael herself gives it an instant likeability and with a similar approach to her previous books it’s the characterisation that feels very real and natural. The torment she feels and the mix of highs & lows proved to be very comforting as you realize that the vast majority of what she pours onto the pages is something I (and I’m sure many others) have experienced first hand.
The short one-pagers have a real catchy vibe about them and while I’m sure this release will have brought her a similar set of doubts – there really is no need for her to feel this way. It’s easy to say and not always the easiest to hear but then self-doubt in talented people seems to be part of the creative psyche…..in fact, part of the every-day psyche…..which makes these strange events all the more normal.
Engaging and almost whimsical in places it never strays away from being an engaging, funny & smart release from Rachael as it shows definite progress in a direction that could well make this some of her most important work so far. Partly from a creative standpoint, as she nails her ideas expertly well, but also for the ability to help ease the stigma associated with mental issues that plague us all at some time. A win-win in the purest sense…..and a case of ‘Wired Up Right’ I’d say!