Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2012
After living her entire life with no real knowledge of her father, the author meets him at the age of 20 and she embarks on a wretched affair with him. Understandably, the relationship becomes more and more twisted until a final, shocking conclusion...
This book is a complete paradox. On the one hand you have a completely shocking subject - incest - one of the most unaccepted taboos in modern society. Most people couldn't ever even entertain the idea of a sexual relationship with a family member (besides that one time you got tanked at a family reunion and drunkenly pondered the best way to make a move on your uncomfortably attractive second cousin) let alone be willing to engage in one with their own father. This book is far FAR outside the norm of what most people can relate to.
But on the other hand, Harrison has a knack for explaining things in such a way that you become absorbed in her story, her life. When she explains why such a thing could, and did happen, we somehow understand. I was totally able to get what she was experiencing and feeling, whether it was anger at her mother, desperation for her father, disgust at herself, or even just her creepy paternal grandfather's hand on her thigh (this kind of fucked up shit seemed to have run in the family). Harrison was able to take the freakishly deplorable and make it... bearable. Understandable, even. She turned a nightmare into a regular day to day activity, like buying new black socks:
Or playing with your apps. Damn you Instagram, and you copious amounts of T&A!
None of this could have worked if she didn't have such an impressive way with words. Not only does she have the technical skill to draw her reader in and make them a part of her narrative, but she also has this lovely, lyrical flow that makes the reading experience whip past at unsafe speeds:
Not unlike a rocket propelled golfcart, I assume.
Actually, I've driven a golfcart at unsafe speed, then panicked and crashed it into a blackberry bush. Then casually strolled away like I aint done shit. But I digress. This was one of the fastest reads I've had this year. I probably could have done it in a a single evening... if I had an entire evening to lollygag about with a book in one hand, a glass of Chablis in the other, marabou feather heel hanging off my toe as I fan myself with the neck of my silk dressing gown and eat bonbons. If you're looking for a complete mindfuck that you can enjoy in just one night, read The Kiss. And if you're looking for hardcore fetishist pornographic literature, go to Literotica.
Then possibly a shrink. Not for your urges, you understand. Those are normal. Just ask Dan Savage
. No, the shrink is for some of the shit you'll read on Literotica. Just browse around. You'll see.
It's come to my attention that I haven't posted a book review in possibly forever. Or at least, it kind of feels like forever. Not only that, but I've been reading the same book for damn near three weeks now. Not because it sucks; it's actually awesome. But the Holiday Season is upon us, and I've been doing a whole lotta THIS lately:
Yes, this is an 80's glam-rock party. And yes, a penguin costume constitutes as 80's glam-rock.
Welcome to the gun show! I'll admit, I'm an affectionate drunk. Especially towards myself.
I also like to do tricks like a seal when I drink. I'm available for parties!
Hitching a ride to the bar has never been more awesome!
You know I'm drunk when I'm willing to put my fingers in my mouth at the bar. These hands touch a lot of nasty door-latches and bartops in my inebriated travels. Also, a lot of boobs.
My moustache makes me feel very distinguished. And my Palm Bay makes me feel very drunk.
Another night at the bar, and another night surrounded by a bevy of beautiful ladies.
Did I mention I met Xzibit? Did I also mention that I was hungover as shit?
I'm a trooper though; I just drank more booze and put on some makeup.
I'm pretty sure at this point that they just started giving me cranberry juice sans the alcohol - or I'd had so much to drink by this point I couldn't even taste it.
Did I mention that I did a calender shoot for West Coast Gifts? And yes, those bongs are actually taller than I am.
Wandering around in a bikini in December is kind of ridiculous - especially when you're outside on occasion.
This fake show totally got in my eye and I think I may still be partially blind - but the pain translates well enough. Are those tears of happiness or anguish? Only my hairdresser knows for sure!
I'm also on the company Christmas card - in a onesie.
This is just something I do in my off time - wearing buttons, I mean.
This is what I've been eating for every goddamn meal.
This is what I've been doing all day at Hempyz - AKA the place that pays me like I go to work but instead get to have fun all day. It's rough I tell ya, but somebody has to do it.
And finally, my soundtrack for the Holiday season. Richard Cheese, you're my hero.
So as you can see, my life is mildly ridiculous this time of year. But I promise I'll do my best to get some leisurely reading and website time in between drinks and boobies.
May 25 - May 30, 2011
Monster: The Autobiography of an LA Gang Member
Sanyika Shakur aka Monster Kody Scott
Sanyika Shakur aka Monster Kody Scott invites us to follow him from his initiation into the uber notorious Crips of South Central as a preteen, his rise through the ranks to claim the title of Ghetto Star for his acts of violence and depravity, up to his time in prison for (some of) said acts where he conducted a remarkable about face to become a revolutionary activist in the New Afrikan Independence Movement.
I live in a small town (technically it's a city, but only something akin to four square blocks worth of city, otherwise we're surrounded by town) full of farmland, horses, and lifetime residents. When they ask where I went to school (because they figure I went to school with SOMEONE they know) and I say, "Just off Hastings in East Van," I'm met with admiration for my inborn street cred and legitimacy. This guy, this guy though... he is Too Legit. Some might say...
Monster Kody Scott was a huge driving force in the South Central Crips and spent years in correctional facilities; somehow, instead of letting these influences work against him in a negative manner, he used them to harden himself into a revolutionary and helped inspire others to end black-on-black violence. Sure, he turned his focus from rival gangs to... well... whitey, but whitey is pretty much the man who's keeping him and his brother down. And while I can't say I can identify with the type of extreme persecution he (and others like him) face, I certainly can acknowledge it and understand his reasoning. I also appreciate how prison doesn't make him do an about face of personality *like finding Jesus, cough cough, claiming a healing of the soul, cough cough, early parole, cough cough* but instead just helps him focus his rage from people in his community (rival bangers) to those trying to oppress his community (the Man). He's still a Monster, but the good kind - like Frankenstein, or Wolverine.
The amount of violence he experiences is phenomenal. In retaliation for a kidnapping, rape, and stabbing of a fellow gangster's family member, he cuts off a guy's arms at the elbows and carries one around for a trophy for Christ's sake! And that was during his late teens. You know what I was doing in my late teens? Telemarketing and trick-or-treating.
I was definitely riveted, and just pored through the book. The wording was slightly confusing, and it got a little heavy for me towards the end, but if anyone has the right to an advanced style of vocabulary and musings over life lessons learned, it's this guy.
I highly recommend this book, and while you're reading it, work on your c-walking, suckas.
Feb 18 - Feb 21, 2011
Will To Live
Les Stroud takes us step by step through classic disaster scenarios (as well as his own adventures) to teach us... how to survive. May I point out, he uses his skill of hindsight more than any other?
Mr. Stroud states that there are four key components to survival: knowledge, luck, kit, and will to live. I honestly believe that knowledge, and therefore preparedness, is the most important component BY FAR. Because knowledge means the difference between using a candle to keep you warm when you're trapped in your vehicle during a snowstorm, or taking a nice nap because you left the heat on and it's just so dang cozy. And you know what? Luck, kit, or will to live won't mean shit when you get eaten by zombies because you've been trapped in quicksand and don't know how to escape the advancing undead horde. May I mention, by the way, that all of this research is to prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Be ready. It'll happen one day. And that's why I'm drawn to books like this; you never know when a little tidbit of info will mean the difference between munching on survival rations and munching BRRRAAA-AAAIIIINNNNSSSSS.
This book gave me just about everything I expected; adventure stories of a most terrific and entertaining nature, peppered with handy bite-sized bits of survival information. I BLASTED through this book, and was left with the overall feeling that the human spirit is a tenacious entity, and that certain individuals are capable of some nasty shit when faced with life or death situations.
My only problem with this book (i.e. why it got a 9/10 instead of the highly coveted 10/10) was the writer. I don't know if it was the ghostwriter kissing ass, or if Les comes from planet "Look at Me, Look at What I Can Do" but to me, he came across as kind of an ass hat. First off, there's all the Les! As in, one chapter about epic survival in the most monstrous of conditions with no knowledge as to whether or not rescue will come or if everyone will perish from frostbite, starvation, anus impalation on dry stick, etc. will be followed by one chapter about Les. Now, I'm not saying he's not Survivorman. I'm not saying he's not way harder than my honky ass. I'm not even saying that he hasn't been bitten by a shark. I'm just sayin'... he has GPS. The guys from Uruguay ATE people. 'Nuff said. And when he claims, "... the most common cause of death in the wilderness is unpreparedness." I have to raise my hand and ask, Are you sure it's not exposure, Les? Frostbite? Being IMPALED in the ANUS with a DRY STICK? Or is the coroner going to look at the mangled, appendage-less, famine ravished corpse of a hapless victim, shake his head sadly, and write "UNPREPAREDNESS" under "Cause of Death", dust his hands off, and walk away into the night, having closed the book on that messy corpse? I'm sure he meant it as a catchy buzz-phrase like "I didn't do it!" or "Did I do that?" but it irritates me all to shit. And you know what Les? Having you expound all through the story about how you wouldn't have done that, you would've done this, how that was a poor choice, and you'd have made a better one, doesn't go a long way in making you a sympathetic character IN YOUR OWN FREAKING BOOK. Hindsight is 20/20. Way to go, bud.
But I otherwise thoroughly enjoyed the book, and picked up some useful facts along the way. Actually, all I can remember off the top of my head is how to get out of quicksand, but I'm sure if I was in an ACTUAL survival situation, I'D know exactly what to do. Right, Les?
Jan 3 - Jan 5, 2011
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson
A Gonzo Journalist and his Samoan attorney crash Vegas in a Great Red Shark on a drug-fueled bender, on the pretense of writing a legitimate article. FOR REALS.
Fear and Loathing is a trippy tome. The style, the subject matter, the suicidally-high levels of drug use, the adventures; it's all insane.
Reading this is intense - the format is stream of consciousness (short blunt chapters, paragraphs, and sentences and totally unreal at times) but the actual writing itself is pure gonzo journalism. Facts facts facts, no matter how ludicrous and outlandish, no matter hoe depraved and violent, no matter how impossible and hallucinatory. All told from the front and center. Other journalists watch, Thompson LIVES.
No one, BUT NO ONE, could do what this man does - metaphorically and literally. The style is instantly recognizable, and the things he's done would have landed a normal, decent human being in a variety of undesirable locations ... the type without easy escape routes. He writes so candidly of his excessive drug use, all the highs (watching lizard people eat each other in an orgy of blood in a casino) as well as lows (vomiting into your shoes while naked in a closet) that while it should discourage the average person contemplating a dabble in the dark side, it just kind of makes me think, "Man, I can get my hands on some serious narcotics, but I will never get my hands on this kind of AWESOME. Not only did drugs give him a great experience, they didn't in any way hinder the reporting of said experience. DRUGS ARE AWESOME." Honestly, it makes me want to do drugs right now (although I do have to work tomorrow and then go to the strippers). But I don't think this book was ever meant to be a deterrent... really, Thompson seemed the type to encourage heavy drug use. But now I'm just speculating.
I find everything he writes about all very legitimate. Obviously the hallucinations seem pretty well cut and dried drug-induced, but the introspection, the wild emotional mood-swings, they also speak of heavy mental brain stimulation. And not the kind you get from discussing your love for the Lord with the bake sale ladies. The only things I have trouble with are the things they get away with. Christ. But to be fair, they were living in a different era. Hell, I know people who could smoke on planes. Now you can't even light up an electronic cigarette on a plane because it could incite a riot or some such bullshit. But you know what? I'm GLAD they got away with it. SOMEBODY had to live a Grand Adventure, and honestly, I'm too much of a weenie to do it myself. No honey, you can't use that here! The flight instruction manual says not to!
As with all books I've read over and over again, there was the ever present sense of "Get The Hell On With It Already!" syndrome, but it generally wasn't as bad as usual with this book, probably because Fear and Loathing is one of those action packed, easy to whiz through reads.
Amazing AMAZING book. Fantastic adventure. Incredible reporter. DOPE.