The story of Pat Tillman's death as a result of friendly fire in Afghanistan is a pretty tragic one. But if anyone could do it justice and go to the hThe story of Pat Tillman's death as a result of friendly fire in Afghanistan is a pretty tragic one. But if anyone could do it justice and go to the heart of the matter, Jon Krakauer is the man. I love Krakauer's work, and this was no disappointment. He is thorough in his examination of the situation, the life of Pat Tillman prior to that, the character of the man, and the ridiculous scene that was the aftermath of his death. Great read, important piece of current history....more
Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one tYeah, I know, but I had to. So. Much. Crack.
Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one thing. And how to sling them around. Son of an NYC artist and a NYC writer... he was bound to wind up a little pretentious around the edges. But he makes up for it by doubting himself at every turn. Because he's also neurotic. Just the right kind of person to injest copious amounts of hallucinogens. Oh, and then combine extensive reading in the subject of shamanism, the use of hallucinogens, mystic visionary writings, etc. Throw in a giant cauldron. Set the cauldron down in the middle of the Burning Man Festival. Set it on fire. Run far far away.
Pinchbeck manages to draw together threads from every New Age, LSD inspired, culturally appropriated, loonie hippie pipe dream he stumbles across. Crop circles (check). Meso-American Mythology (check), Rudolph Steiner (check), Carlos Castaneda (check), Aleister Crowley (check), African iboga boogie men (check), Free Love (check), the "noosphere" (THE WHAT? IS THAT A COW RELIGION???) check check checkity check check.
Dudes, seriously, this guy is a few screws loose of having a running tractor.
I mean, he does try and make up for it by adding in disclaimers that he may be entirely wrong about every single theory he entertains. But he does entertain them. He sits all these wacked out theories down around a tiny, painted table and serves them tea and crumpets. Then he pushes everything off the table and dances naked in his underwear.
It's not a pretty sight, I promise you.
But what the hell. The portions of the book that I managed to plow through without having to set it down and laugh until my abdomen hurt were pretty entertaining. I think some of his research has validity... in that I do believe in shamanism, and the energies that it works with. But the edge he, and others like him, take it to are of the ridiculous IMHO.
So... Joe Bob sez check it out if you are looking for some crack. Or to know what it's like to drop so much acid that your brain turns to gluons without actually damaging your cerebral cortex....more
David Sedaris walks all the way to the edge and dances on it. Defying gravity. I haven't yet read all his work, but my respect for him deepens with eaDavid Sedaris walks all the way to the edge and dances on it. Defying gravity. I haven't yet read all his work, but my respect for him deepens with each essay. Another hit out of the park for "Uncle Faggot". God I just love him....more
another hit out of the park by David Sedaris. The entire last portion of the book is my favorite part. He decides to quit smoking and comes up with thanother hit out of the park by David Sedaris. The entire last portion of the book is my favorite part. He decides to quit smoking and comes up with the genius idea of going to Tokyo as a change of scenery to make it easier. Hilarity ensues (of course).
This book kept me from going off my nut while flying to Medford. Thank you David Sedaris. Another jolt of sanity. I heart you muchly....more
Well, he's no brilliant literary genius, but he gives a pretty good tale. For my taste, the man doesn't know how to end a chapter. They all just kindWell, he's no brilliant literary genius, but he gives a pretty good tale. For my taste, the man doesn't know how to end a chapter. They all just kind of trail off into a brick wall. But he has the inside scoop on what it's been like to live at the Chelsea Hotel in the aftermath of Sid & Nancy. Mostly, irritating seems to be the upshot.
Should you pick this book up I would caution that you will be doomed to hear Rufus Wainwright's version of "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" your head repeatedly as you amble through the chapters of this book. Luckily, I happen to love that song....more
I read this book the month I left my ex husband and spent 10 days in Maui with my closest girlfriend at the time, Kendra Brock. It was probably my firI read this book the month I left my ex husband and spent 10 days in Maui with my closest girlfriend at the time, Kendra Brock. It was probably my first exposure to such raw self-reflection and intimate self-exposure, my first creative non-fiction or fictional memoir. I've seen people call Spalding Grey narcissistic... and self absorbed... and adolescent... and hedonistic. Maybe I'm so fond of him because I am all those things, I don't know. I know that I admire his ability to so baldly lay all of his neuroses out there for the world to pick at. To so blithely stroll into his dysfunctional life and conjure out of it a narrative that is at once entertaining, instructive, profound, whimsical, evocative, sophisticated. I was so upset to learn of his suicide. To know he suffered from depression and lost his battle with it ultimately... robbing the world of more of his genius. Well... that just leaves me grieving. Spalding had the great gift of looking into a troubled life and viewing it with a light heart at times... of turning misery into gold... a wry turn of phrase. His descriptions of LSD trips in foreign lands, forays into bi-sexual escapades, mistakes of destroying relationships he cares about... it's a brave man who can really unzip his shell to matter-of-factly tell those tales without trying to make himself look better. Spalding is one of the people in this life I would have liked to sat down to dinner with. I did see him perform "Swimming to Cambodia" live in Everett, Washington (of all places). I shook his hand after and told him how much I admired him. If I'd known he was suffering I might have written to him and let him know what he meant to me before he left this world behind for good. Not that it would have changed anything... but I know that some days... that's all it takes for me to decide I'm not so bad after all. Sometimes all it takes is reading a book like this....more