Cathy's Reviews > Riding the Cyclone: Growing Up Feral in the '60s

Riding the Cyclone by Lauren Ruth Wiener
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Apr 20, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: memoir
Read in April, 2012

I shy away from self-published material. My experience has been that the worst is marginally literate and the best is barely readable. Lauren Wiener’s Riding the Cyclone is the exception to that experience. What a moving, page-turner of a read!
Wiener’s language is strong and well managed. In a genre that could easily lend itself to maudlin self-pity, there is none. What happened speaks for its self. Wiener makes no excuses for her actions as a high school student, nor does she blame anyone else. However, the reader questions where the adults were in all of this, and every time the question popped into my head the answer became abundantly clear in the next several pages. The people are drawn with such honesty I wondered how she could bear to write it. By the time it was over I wanted to take most of the adults out and bang THEIR heads into the floor. The portrayals of other children/teenagers prove beyond a doubt that bullying is not new under the 21st century sun. The scenes are carefully crafted, creating atmosphere and shape around the people.
My only criticism about this memoir is that because it is self-published it will be difficult for most libraries to acquire, and it is one that should be on every shelf.
I read it because we went to the same high school, a school that figured prominently in the memoir. I finished it because I couldn’t put it down. And there damn well better be a second book.
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