73 Things To Do Before I Kill Myself: A Love Story by Doc Longfellow


Reviewed by Timea Barabas

There are at least 73 reasons to read Doc Longfellow’s book, but I will only stop on the highlights. 73 Things To Do Before I Kill Myself: A Love Story is a witty and suspenseful account of a man’s downfall and his struggle to pick up the pieces and reconstruct himself.

Everyone knows a Duncan Jones, he is your friend, colleague or neighbor; he is also the main protagonist of the novel. A pretty nice guy, by all accounts, blossoming in all areas of life: love, career, friendships… or at least until the unimaginable happens and he quits his job and ends a relationship with someone that should have been the one.

So, what next?

Nothing. There is nothing to keep Duncan going.

But as he succumbs to his early end he stumbles upon a bucket list from his childhood. While, this will not be a sufficient incentive in itself to change his mind, at least he postpones the due date until the completion of the list. Although there were originally 100 items on it, as you might have guessed from the title, only 73 remain. It has it all: stealing a street sign, bungee jumping, the Simpsons marathon… but one entry in particular poses a great challenge to Duncan, asking out his first love. For this, he must return to his hometown, revisit friends and console the past with the present.

73 Things To Do Before I Kill Myself: A Love Story is an easy to read adventure. All the small, and apparently inconsequential events eventually piece together to create a tableau of a life. Duncan Jones is just one atom in the Brownian motion of life, but all his collisions and interactions are devotedly documented by Doc Longfellow. The orderly chaos makes this fiction read all the more raw and real.

Unavoidably, the novel will prompt each reader to reflect upon his or her own bucket list; a bucket list, which like in Duncan’s case, will (hopefully) serve as a portal to self-discovery and a life lived to the fullest.