A Common Pornography
More lists with this book...
written without pathos, sentimentalism, or apology, kevin never resorts to the banal, woe-is-me affectations that have come to mark so many autobiographical works of late. funny, tragic, touching, and often unbelievabl...more
“For beauty, honesty, sheer weirdness, and a haunting evocation of place, Kevin Sampsell is my favorite Oregon writer. Ken Kesey, Chuck Palahniuk—make some room on the shelf.”—Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of it All
Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography is a memoir, told in vignettes, that captures the history of one dysfunctional American family. An extension of a 2003 “memory experiment” of the same name, A Common Pornography weaves recollections of small-town youth with darker threads
I didn't touch the other stuff in my anti-boredom bag after starting Kevin's book. The book is interesting and sometimes funny and sometimes sad and frequent...more
Several of my friends said that they found this book to be interesting, but hard to read due to the fragmented state of its narrative.
I honestly have to go with the first group if I am to take sides. I honestly din't find this memoir hard to read in any way. In fact, I found its matter-of-fact approach to memories a bit less ego-istic than most memoirs. The "main character" in this...more
The four siblings took turns writing about their memories in short, one and two page sections. It has been said that each child in a family grows up with diffe...more
I just went to the author's reading at Powell's. If the book doesn't have a "voice" written into it, an attempt to capture an accent or regional slurring, I "hear" the words with a soothing, resonant, deep tone. Male and female characters, all the same. Sampsell's real voice was surprisingly (to me) soft, lispy, and soothingly nerdy. I had a major eyestrain headache brewing and almost decided to just go...more
First, I felt no compassion, connection or empathy for the character, especially as it dragged on. He has a really great way of writing about things so mundane that don't really relate to the overall arc of the story, and just leave you ya...more
As KS himself puts it, the book isn't structured via traditional dramatic arc, but rather as a "memory experiment"; just patches of quick stories about sex, responsibility and danger that--often in a nebulous, haunt...more
Sampsell’s descriptions of the people he encounters are perfect in their spareness. He has a way of making a person clear within two sentences that might take other writers tw...more
I liked the glass castle for that reason, too.
I would not necessarily buy this for my mom on xmas (in m y case the reverse happened-I got the Glass castle ) as a Common Pornography is more explicit and thus in my mind better. yes I shirked away "honest and heartfelt and at first, as this combo normally backs me into a corner and put a dunce cap on my head yel...more
This memoir has been described by the author as a memory experi...more
Folks in the book world may recognize this author's name--he's Powell's Bookstore's event coordinator. He's written quite a bit in the past (LIT, Hobart, McSweeney's, Night Train just to name a few journals and web sites, as well as two short story collections of his own) and is the editor of Portland Noir. He's also the publisher of Future Tense Books. But this book is different--this is personal, about his family and his life as a young man that he calls "a memory experiment". Writ...more
Honestly, I'm not a fan of the memoir genre. And because Kevin is a friend of mine, this book has a completely different effect on me than it would on a stranger. If you don't know Kevin personally, here are some w...more
Short blurbs about the author's life, his dysfunctional family, sexual life, fatherhood, work, everything. This is a very brave book, the stories are v...more
The book is told in little vignettes and short essays on his youth spent in Kennewick, WA. The first parts of the book establish a somber tone that seemed to linger through...more