Title: The Rent Collector
Author: Camron Wright
Rating: 9.8 out of 10
We read The Rent Collector for my actual book club that has real people who meet and discuss books! (McCall you have friends in Northern Utah? Why, yes. Yes I do).
It's a story about a family who live in Cambodia in a shack on the outskirts of the city dump. They survive by collecting things from the dump to sell or recycle and then pay rent to a cranky older lady. It's very good, very gripping, and wonderfully written. I gave it a 9.8 because it's almost all true. The family really does exist (as do many other families who live this way), much of what is told about them and their son really happened, and there are photos of the people. Wright's son visited these people in Cambodia and documented everything on his website, including videos....but not the whole story in the book is true (mostly the rent collector's story). If I had gone into it knowing this I would have been fine, but finding out after finishing the book bugged me. I think .2 points was a small price to pay though.
The best thing about this book though is the gratitude you feel for your own life while reading it. Nothing can get you down when you compare yourself to these poor people. All of my little hurst seemed so trivial. I became embarrassed of the excess in which I live. And that is a good place to be. It also had some beautiful lessons and classic literature in.
A fantastic read. I would recommend it to anyone. Bonus: the author lives in Utah, and it's always nice to support locally.