Ostrich by Matt Greene: A Review


They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but then how are you supposed to know whether to pick it up or not? I picked up this book because the bold yellow cover that I love and hate so much at the same time just beckoned out to me while I was browsing the shelves. I haven’t finished it yet (am not even close to finishing it yet), but it’s so good that I just absolutely needed to share.

Ostrich is told through the eyes of a 13-year-old narrator with a brain tumor. The author Matt Greene’s words drop like piano keys to form a beautiful melody that’s written in a ‘stream-of-consiousness’ style. There are more irrelevant tangents in this book than any book I’ve ever read, but that’s what makes Ostrich so easy to fall in love with. It’s a completely honest portrayal of the main character Alex’s everyday life and his perception of the world. 

A lot of times, when somebody has cancer or a serious medical condition, you say that they are “suffering from” their disease, but that is not the word choice that I would use for Alex. Alex isn’t suffering, he’s living. He’s just a boy who’s trying to figure out why his parents don’t get along, why every kid at school must stare at his bald head like it’s some sort of ostrich, and why his doctor insists on explaining his brain tumor treatment like some sort of war mission.

They always say that the first few sentences of a book can tell you so much about it, so those are the sentences I’m going to leave you with today.

“I can tell my parents are unhappy by they way they smile at waiters. In that small act of ingratiation I can see the custody battle to come. It won’t be fought in the courtroom but in HMV and Game. Stocks in Nintendo will soar as my affections are auctioned off to the highest bidder. My teeth will rot.”

Find out more about Ostrich here or purchase the book here.

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