KooKooLand, Gloria Norris


Emma Boucher, Staff Writer

Abuse, Murder, Coming of Age, Manchester New Hampshire. The twist? It’s all real. KooKooLand by Gloria Norris is a memoir about her life in the projects of Manchester 1960’s. She lives with her sister, mom and dad in a small apartment. Her dad, Jimmy, is not average, taking Gloria with him to places she shouldn’t go like, Bloodfeast, the racetrack, YaYa’s bar, all at the age of 9. You get to watch her grow up in a crazy home. 

Personally, my favorite character was Virginia. She felt the most realistic. Her sway of emotions towards her father makes a lot of sense seeing the way she was raised. However, all the characters felt very real. There is a sense of honesty Gloria has with her past, she is not afraid to depict the lives that were around her. I can remember being nervous for what was next yet encouraged and excited to keep reading. Her life is so odd I couldn’t get enough, but it’s hard to accept that it’s all real. The book being told like a story was definitely the best part of it all. Rather than a boring recap of her life we get to see each moment played out like we were there with her. 

One thing I would critique though is near the end it does start to move really fast; she goes from being 9 to being 20 in a span of 60 pages and it really threw me off while reading. I think the end got too swift and could have been drawn out more, which I would have enjoyed. 

If you have a hard time reading other people’s terrible misfortunes, then maybe skip this book. If you enjoy reading about crazy people, this is for you.