I was surprised by how much I liked his second memoir considering I had heard that it paled in comparison to his first--and one of my favorite--memoir...moreI was surprised by how much I liked his second memoir considering I had heard that it paled in comparison to his first--and one of my favorite--memoirs, All Soul's. It has been a while since I read All Soul's, and I intend to read it now again, but in my memory it described rather than explained the ethnocentric mindset of South Boston. Easter Rising focuses on explaining that self-deprecating mentality, using the story of MacDonald's own growth--through art, culture, and, most importantly, punk music--to contrast the beliefs and attitudes of most of his friends and family in Old Colony Housing Projects with those living outside the neighborhood.
I spent some time in South Boston in the late 90s early 2000s, and there was much contention regarding All Soul's, which had I believe had just recently been published. Among more than a few of Southie's residents--both the 'project rats' and the City Point kids--I sensed anger and bitterness towards the author for his critique of Southie culture and his blasting of the neighborhood's precious father figure, Whitey. "He's a FUCKING LIAR" I was told about MacDonald on more than one occasion. But I think, perhaps, that they were so angry and bitter with MacDonald because deep down they knew he was right.
I have since moved away from the Boston area and reside in Western Mass. I enjoy the diversity of people, ideas, and culture--things that were blatantly void in my South Shore town. When I walk down my street now, it's not a given that I'll see a white kid with an Abercrombie and Fitch sweathshirt, Boston Redsox hat, and gleaming white Nikes. I don't regularly hear: "You're fuckin WEIHD! Losah!!" or feel the arrogance and 'art-better-than-thou' mentality seeping out of every passersby pores. Instead, I see people open to things different from themselves and respectful of (or at the very least aware of) people living vastly different than themselves.(less)
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the artist's style. Every picture in the book is an amazingly detailed pencil sketch. The story line f...moreI was immediately drawn to this book because of the artist's style. Every picture in the book is an amazingly detailed pencil sketch. The story line further intrigued me: A man leaving the place he knows as home for a new, formidable land in which the people speak a foreign language, have pets that look like wuzzles, and have erected gigantic buildings and structures reminiscent of the movie The Never Ending Story. He is alone, confused and lost in this new world, unsure of everything and missing his family terribly. This story is clearly a metaphor for the plight of immigrants both in years past and today. It also seems to mirror the totalitarian undertones of former and current governments both in the western and developing world. This book is amazing not only because of the art and the story line but also due to the fact that it is can be read, understood, and resonated with anywhere anytime. (less)