Book review | Spare | Prince Harry

I just finished reading the admittedly cleverly titled book “Spare” last night. This is Prince Harry’s (though I am not sure how long will that title hold) memoir of his life so far. And has it been an interesting one. If you have not been living under a rock, you would have at least heard of his departure from the royal family. This is his version of that and everything else as well. I stayed up late into the wee hours a couple of night ago to finish it. This is the first memoir I have finished reading this year, and I have to admit this wasn’t like most memoirs for me. I will explain.

Let's start with first things first. The book is divided into three parts. The first part talks about his childhood and his relationship with his parents and brothers, touching upon Diana. The second part is sort of like his coming of age and him dealing with his mum’s death and beyond. And the last and third part is the reason I think most people picked up this book. The third part talks about his life with Megan since the beginning to as recently as last year.

Unlike most memoirs where one learns something from people's experiences and lives, there is some insight, a moment of ‘aha’ or just a moment of reflection. I personally did not come across any of these in the book. Probably because there is very limited scope of relatability. There are a few instances where one does feel connected to his pain, but other than that, not much. I was left wanting more connection and more meaning or learning from his experience from the book. Everything about his life is foreign to the common reader.

The second part of the book makes it amply clear and opens our eyes to the fact that the royals do not live in the real world. They live under a microscope or a magnifying class if you may. Feel free to choose your analogy. Every move they make is being watched by millions of people. Every report card, every fight, and every breakup is intensified by the newspaper and the media. Their mistakes are magnified, taken out of context and discussed at a national if not a global level. It is literally like being an animal inside a zoo or a prisoner who has been stripped away of free will. No one in this world, no matter who they are deserved to live like this. This is like keeping up with the Kardashians without the part where the Kardashians consent. Putting anyone’s life under such scrutiny is bound to make them seem dumb, insensitive, uninformed specially if there is a bias to amplify negativity that makes everyone more money. 

The third part is what most of us have been waiting for. However, if you've seen the Netflix series, and the Oprah interview, there aren’t a lot of new things to discover. However, as you read the book, his frustration and helplessness become palpable. 

I would recommend you read this book only if you are interested in the royal family or the ‘Crown’ so to say and want to understand his perspective of things. Don’t go into this book expecting an expose on the royals or some sort of a learning. This is just one man, who happens to be extremely popular, telling his life story.

 

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