Book Review – The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa

First published, 2008

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I saw a woman in Exeter about twenty years ago. A total stranger, I’d never seen her before in my life and I had the overwhelming urge to throw my arms around her.

I hadn’t mixed her up with anyone else. She wasn’t famous or upset, she wasn’t even my type, but I really felt I must hug her. Had I read this book before I saw her, I might have asked if she wanted to be my ‘yellow’. Of course, on hearing something like that, she might have called the police. As it goes, I didn’t approach her. I walked very definitely away, but I’ve never forgotten her.

Not so much a self-help book as one man’s philosophy, in The Yellow World we get to know the author as a very positive, enthusiastic, young man who, yes – has survived ten years of cancer, but has brought with him a beautifully child-like way of looking at the world.

And he’s quite right. Everything becomes overcomplicated because of the rules that we all follow and the mindset we take for granted. Rather than reserve our intimacy for our lovers, Mr. Espinosa advises that we should seek out and recognise our ‘yellows’: those especially close friends we all used to have as children. Friends we could hug relentlessly, and take naps with. We should have friends like that throughout our lives.

We should have no fear of death. We should talk about it. We should really open ourselves up and let the world in.

What comes across in this book is an unwaveringly optimistic man who truly lives his life. And although some of his advice is a little jarring to a British sensibility (such as I am stuck with), for example: sharing secrets because “what you hide is what says the most about you,” – from page 73 (The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa), I really liked it.