The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace - Eric G. Wilson Just like it says on the tin, The Mercy of Eternity is a memoir of depression, short and easy to read, effective and surprisingly poignant in places. Wilson displays a fine-honed talent for describing complicated, raw, very personal feelings in a way that is succinct and rings true. More than once I found myself nodding my head while reading, saying out loud, “Yes! That’s it exactly.”

(And if Wilson’s writing occasionally gets purple and overdone, he can be forgiven. Mostly. Because even though he expounds at length on narcissism, at least The Mercy of Eternity didn’t devolve into a 400-page tome of angst and nonstop whining, Wurtzel.)

Wilson exquisitely presents his suffering—but unfortunately, he’s also pretty damn insufferable. He presents his bad, self-absorbed behavior with a lot of excuses and attempts to justify himself, even after his “revelation” and he’s supposedly passed such bad behavior. Either these little cries of exception (but it was for work! It was her fault, too! I was busy and smart!) are because he can’t quite make himself as vulnerable as he needs to be to write a memoir honestly or because he still doesn’t take full responsibility for his actions and still thinks he’s just a little bit more special than everyone else—I’m not certain, my opinion seesawed back and forth depending on which section of the book I was reading. Basically, I came away from this read feeling that even without mental illness, the guy still would have been sort of a dick.

But the merits of the book outweigh my personal opinion of the man. Great writing, even if it is too florid in places, and excellent descriptions of what depression feels like and how it affects absolutely everything. The end was wrapped up too neat (a very common problem with these types of memoirs), but overall, it’s a good addition to the genre.