Diary Of An Oxygen Thief Summary, Themes & Characters

5/5 - (1 vote)
TitleDiary of an Oxygen Thief
AuthorAnonymous (pen name of an Irish author)
GenreFiction, Autobiographical novel
Publication Date2006 (self-published)
ProtagonistThe anonymous narrator, an alcoholic and misogynistic advertising executive
SequelsThe author wrote two sequels to the novel: “Chameleon in a Candy Store” and “Eunuchs and Nymphomaniacs“.

Diary Of An Oxygen Thief Characters

The Oxygen Thief (main character) – A remorseless and self-destructive narrator who indulges in destructive behavior and manipulates those around him. He is haunted by his past actions and struggles with addiction and emotional detachment.

Penelope – The enigmatic and alluring love interest of the Oxygen Thief. She is intelligent, independent, and possesses a magnetic charm that captivates the protagonist. Penelope becomes a source of both solace and torment for the Oxygen Thief.

Diary Of An Oxygen Thief Themes

Addiction and Self-Destruction – The novel explores the consequences of addiction and the internal struggle to break free from destructive habits.

Emotional Manipulation – The story explores the ways in which people can manipulate others’ emotions for their own gain or to exert control, resulting in damaged relationships and profound emotional scars.

Love and Betrayal – The protagonist experiences love, heartbreak and betrayal throughout the narrative.

Identity and Self-Reflection – The protagonist grapples with questions of identity and undergoes a journey of self-reflection. The novel explores the struggle to understand oneself, find meaning in life, and confront personal demons.

Redemption and Forgiveness – The protagonist seeks redemption for his past actions and attempts to make amends for the pain he has caused. The novel examines the possibility of forgiveness and the path to personal growth.

Isolation and Loneliness – It explores the impact of these emotions on one’s mental and emotional well-being and the desperate search for connection and understanding.

Watch Full Summary Video of “Diary Of An Oxygen Thief

Diary Of An Oxygen Thief Summary

In 2006, Diary of an Oxygen Thief was released anonymously. The book is a work of fiction yet the writer tries to mislead readers by not naming either the author or the narrator. Nonetheless, the work is fiction since the writer and the narrator are not the same person.

The narrator is an Irish advertising professional living in London. The book follows his encounters with women, a lot of whom he believes he has mentally distressed, as well as one lady, Aisling, whom he believes is his karmic punishment for abusing women.

The story begins with the narrator describing how he enjoys mentally harming women. He discusses his longest relationship with Penelope, a lady he says he truly loved. However, he grows tired of her & sees her to be a barrier to his drinking & cheating on her, gradually breaking down their relationship. He later succumbs to consuming alcohol, during which he begins to mentally traumatise women for the sake of it. He goes through a number of women, effectively attempting to make them fall in love with him before ignoring/ghosting them.

He eventually invites these women to his thirtyth birthday celebration, but he becomes so drunk that he cannot remember anything. He gets into a lot of drunken pub fights, however they are more about him mouthing off to big men & then being hurt. He even punches a female once, which may or may not be the reason he chooses to join AA.

The narrator joins AA, gets a steady job as an advertising executive & avoids women for five years. He works hard to further his job, ultimately relocating to Saint Lacroix, Minnesota. He buys a property there and becomes stuck realising that he despises his work and Midwesterners. He begins to hunt for a way out and meets Aisling, a gorgeous, young photographer’s assistant, on a business trip to New York. He falls in love with her after they have sex, despite the fact that she appears lukewarm at best. He says she encourages him to relocate to New York, although there is no evidence to back this up.

Once in New York & still working at the job he dislikes, he continues to look for her shamelessly & she rejects him. He feels she is playing with his emotions by making him the tragic topic of her art, a picture book. She takes him to a pub near the end of their so-called relationship & has a male friend embarrass him when they try to get into a fight with the narrator, which she records. The narrator realises she despises him. To reduce the embarrassment he feels, he writes a novel in the hopes that it would be released before her pictures.

The narrative is narrated in retrospect, as the narrator reflects on his behaviour after being harmed. The novel is written by the narrator 8 years after his admission to AA & around two years after his purported romance with Aisling had ended. While this retrospection enables the narrator to reflect on numerous elements of his behaviour & relationships, it is also largely responsible for the audience’s doubts in the tale. The storyteller does not appear to be trustworthy, owing to his lack of concern for others.

Likewise, he is extremely egocentric and feels that the entire universe revolves around him. He feels he is the most important person & he believes others do as well. As a result, the audience is hesitant to trust some of his assumptions about how badly he harmed these ladies, especially when the narrator himself occasionally slips up and concedes that this may not be the truth. It’s also easy to think that the narrator overstated his so-called connection with Aisling & that the reason she treats him so harshly is because he’s a weird older person who becomes fascinated with her. The narrator also admits to having moments of paranoia, which raises questions about the accuracy of his story. 

The majority of the story is written in the narrator’s first-person point of view, which corresponds to his extreme narcissism. Because he is self-absorbed, he feels the need to make others understand him by imposing his point of view on them. He does, however, frequently address his audience, tearing down the barrier between himself & the audience. The narrator’s concern with pop culture & the media, particularly television shows and films, reinforces his desire to talk to his audience.

The narrator sees himself as a type of hero in his own tragedy & he frequently acts out his life as if it were being recorded. In the last portion, the narrator switches between being the 2nd person audience, the 3rd person protagonist & the 1st person narrator/director. The narrator shifts between points of view in this way to depict himself as omnipresent & to identify himself with god.

There are three parts in the novel.

The first chapter establishes the plot & reveals the narrator’s narcissism.

The second part of the book describes the narrator’s decline & subsequent recovery from alcoholism, as well as his handling of & subsequent abstinence from, women when he goes to Saint Lacroix.

The narrator’s relationship with Aisling & the misery she gives him are the focus of the third and final chapter.

In the final pages, the narrator mentions Dante’s Divine Comedy, leading the reader to believe that the three times structure may mimic the classic text, albeit in an opposite way, instead of ascending from Hell to Heaven, the narrator appears to believe he falls to Hell, substantiating his belief in the epic disaster of his narrative.

Diary of an Oxygen Thief Quotes

Here are some quotes from the book “Diary of an Oxygen Thief“-

  1. “I liked hurting girls. Mentally, not physically, I never hit a girl in my life. Well, once. But that was a mistake. I’ll tell you about it later.”
  2. “I never liked being alone, but I like being lonely.”
  3. “It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness.”
  4. “She’s like a drug for me, a much-needed dose of ecstasy in a world full of pain and disappointment.”
  5. “I craved attention and I didn’t care if it was positive or negative. As long as someone noticed me, it meant I existed.”
  6. “There’s something about the thrill of the chase, the conquest, and the subsequent abandonment that excites me. It’s the cycle I’ve become addicted to.”
  7. “Love is a dangerous drug. Once you start using, you can’t stop, and it’s a downward spiral from there.”
  8. “I had to destroy her to save myself. It was a cruel game, but I was the puppet master, pulling the strings of her emotions.”
  9. “I’m a coward. I hide behind my words and my actions, afraid to let anyone see the real me, because deep down, I know I’m not worth knowing.”
  10. “I wanted to believe in love, but all I found was pain and heartbreak. Love is just an illusion, a mirage in the desert of life.”


What is the diary of oxygen thief about?

The Diary of an Oxygen Thief is a novel about a remorseless man who chronicles his destructive relationships and struggles with alcoholism.

Is it worth reading Diary of an Oxygen Thief?

Yes, it is worth reading Diary of an Oxygen Thief if you enjoy raw, introspective narratives with a dark and honest tone.

Is The Diary of an Oxygen Thief Scary?

No, “The Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is not a scary book. It is a semi-autobiographical novel about addiction and relationships.

Who is the main character in Diary of an Oxygen Thief?

The main character in “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is an unnamed male narrator.

Is Diary of an Oxygen Thief true story?

No, “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is a work of fiction and not based on a true story.

What is the climax of the thief’s story?

The climax of the Diary of an Oxygen Thief true story is the protagonist’s realization of the consequences of his actions.tyh

Leave a Comment

a to z