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Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley

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4.62  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Six houses, five apartments, three motels, a Hollywood mansion, and a small vegetable farm in Pennsylvania. Experiencing the early life of self-taught artist, writer, and drummer, Carol Es was enough to confuse any kid. Carol grew up believing she was inherently bad; she'd suffered psychological abuse of her mentally ill mother, an unstable family that moved around a dozen ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published April 6th 2019 by Desert Dog Press
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4.62  · 
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 ·  13 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Michael Phillips
In Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley Carol Es has written about her life, but in doing so she's also written about life as that thing we all share, our essence blasted across the stars. It's all here, and after reading it, you may just come away changed.

Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is life, brothers and sisters. Life and love and survival, and I will testify here and now that I could not stop turning the pages. Some people have an inherent knowledge of things, you dig, a free and unobst
...more
Scarlett
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After I read the first few pages I slowed down. This was not a book to only read, but to read a bit and think about it for a while after. I knew absolutely nothing about the Scientology faith/cult, but after reading about the total mind (and life/finances) control techniques I wondered how anyone escapes it. I knew Carol Es was an artist, but I've learned about her equal passion for her music and I think she achieved a degree of success in that pursuit as well. Now this book...Carol is an awesom ...more
Jocelyne Desforges
Shrapnel in San Fernando Valley is an important book for all women, men, and especially artists because it has a lot to with courage and endurance, which is something that we all need every single day.

The tone is straight forward, sometimes brutal and even crazy funny as the author struggles and manages to draw some conclusions. Carol makes some brilliant statements as she is resurfacing after a truly rough start.

Her memoir is also peppered with beautiful ink drawings that perfectly describe he
...more
David
Damn this book is excellent. Where to begin? It's a memoir of a life trying to grow up in California in the 70's, 80's, 90's as a female, a drummer, a sister, a daughter, an artist and a Scientologist. Ultimately it's about surviving all that and not going completely insane, the quest to lead a good life.

I could go on and on about all the "stuff" author Carol Es goes through but that might just look like a laundry list because the memoir is far from that. How does she tell this tale of survival
...more
Stephen Hines
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May you live in interesting times.


This saying, perhaps mistakenly attributed to the Chinese, is meant to be a curse. Who, especially an artist, would want to live in any other times? Ask Carol Es, she'll let you know why.


Throughout Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley, Es is seemingly strapped to a spinning wheel, while a blindfolded carny throws knives at her, knives tipped with the poison of her off kilter family, sexual assault, Scientology and abusive relationships. Most of this takes place b
...more
Jen
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love memoirs. I am not sure if it is the reality tv junkie in me, a sick voyeuristic look into other people's lives. Or maybe it is the "I'm not alone" feeling I sometimes get when I can relate to the author's struggles.

Carol Es shares her raw and heartbreaking journey growing up being subjected to emotional and psychological abuse. Normally I like a timeline to run straight from beginning to end. But her ability to weave the story of her childhood in with the more present day really gives you
...more
Anthony
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: THEMES AND STORIES INVOLVING ABUSE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, DRUG USE AND SUICIDE ARE FEATURED IN THIS NOVEL. READER DISCRETION ADVISED.

One woman’s harrowing journey through a tumultuous childhood and the back and forth struggle between living a “normal life” and being indoctrinated into Scientology comes to life in author Carol Es’s novel “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”. Here is t
...more
Peter Clothier
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You’ll find yourself rooting for Carol all the way through this hair-raising account of a brutally dysfunctional childhood, a bewildering adolescence of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, and an early adulthood oppressed by the manipulative wiles and practices of the so-called “church” of Scientology. You’ll be rooting for her because, despite all the evils that befall her, she remains herself—perhaps curiously—an innocent. More than that, you’ll be rooting for her because you know that she’s a survivo ...more
John Martin
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like it had to be written and there are times when it appears to have flowed effortlessly from Ms. Es’ hands while simultaneously clearly conveying how it must also have required a crow bar to unearth some of these feelings and memories to spill to the page. One thing is clear, she didn’t try to write this book, she damn well wrote it. There’s very little attempt to foster imagery here; rather, the imagery develops on its own through the forthright nature of how the story is told ...more
Truly
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es is a heartbreaking story of survival. t's a memoir of a life trying to grow up in California in the 70's, 80's, 90's as a female, a drummer, a sister, a daughter, an artist and a Scientologist. Es takes us through all this with a singular voice, full of humor and warmth. A heartfelt story of a family dealing with the uncertainties of life and letting family help you through.
Jeanette
Now and again i enjoy reading something different from the usual genres that i generally read. I am glad that i read it as it was interesting in parts, but that is as far as it goes. I can see why this memoir would appeal to some and not to others.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review.
Jen
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love memoirs. I am not sure if it is the reality tv junkie in me, a sick voyeuristic look into other people's lives. Or maybe it is the "I'm not alone" feeling I sometimes get when I can relate to the author's struggles.

Carol Es shares her raw and heartbreaking journey growing up being subjected to emotional and phycological abuse. Normally I like a timeline to run straight from beginning to end. But her ability to weave the story of her childhood in with the more present day really gives you
...more
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Native Los Angelina, Carol Es is a writer, musician, and artist by trade, known primarily for creating personal narratives within a wide spectrum of media. She often uses past experience as the fuel for subject matter, and has written articles of art critique for the Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal. Her prose has been published with small presses — Bottle of Smoke Press ...more