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See A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  952 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Two companion pieces released in one volume, containing selected writing and
tour journal entries from 1988-1992.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by 2.13.61 (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rollins tore himself wide open to write and release this book, spilling his grief and devastation on the page. Though maybe not the most technically perfect prose, it's amazing in its raw and brutal honesty. Having recently lost someone to suicide, this book spoke to me on a deep level. Somehow cathartic and heart-wrenching all at once.
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of edgy writing
Henry Rollins is an acquired taste. Yet, those who love him tend to be very dedicated.

The man is simply very well spoken and very smart. People tend to see him as this big, beefy punk rock guy. That's all true, but there's so much more.

This book was written after Henry Rollins and his best friend, Joe Cole, were robbed at gunpoint. Cole was shot in the head and killed in front of Rollins. This, for obvious reasons, really messed Rollins up.

This book is a collection of journal entries, short stor
Alex Ankarr
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't say it used to be my favourite book, but I carried it around on public transport and WORE A COPY OUT SO I HAD TO BUY ANOTHER.

Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
“Memories stick like napalm and keep burning”

“You aren't beaten if you can still take a beating”

“If someone were to come into your room right now/And wrap around you/You would still think you were alone/And you would be right”

“I don't know what I did to become this monster/Probably everything I possibly could”

“Not every fucking person is suited for the ritual bullshit of civilization.”
Garrett Leun
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
If I opened up my copy today, I don't know if this book would effect me the way it did in the dark days (and years) that surrounded me towards the end of high school... That being said, I know I'll never shake the connection I had to Rollins's writing and poetry during that time, and the dozens of dog-eared pages are a testament to how much this book rocked me when we found one another. If this book were a person, I'd give it the ultimate "I owe you" handshake.
May 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
No other book has affected me like See a Grown Man Cry... Like most of his books, it's a collection of journal entries. Most entries focus on the death of his best friend, Joe Cole. No other book has nearly brought me to tears as this one has. His words are so raw. You feel every bit of anger, sadness, depression, and loneliness that he was feeling as he wrote each entry. Hours after putting the book down, I'm still overwhelmed by the sadness he conveyed in his words.

If you long to feel, even t
Levi Lerner
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first Rollins book, holds a special place in my heart but the poetry is beautiful and powerful. Changed my life for so much better! Made me a Rollins fan for life
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
every book this dude writes is an outstanding collection of feelings, thoughts, especially rage. for anyone who has ever felt that they don't belong, these books fit nicely. i have spent many a day stunned by the clarity achieved by hank in his writings. i only wish i could find an outlet like he has.
Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Rollins Fans
Good, but it was like having a friend who's brother died. And then having to listen while he mourned his brother for a year. Honest and gritty - typical Rollins style but painful to read.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Most of Henry's books are a constantly "in-progress" read as they are pretty tough to get all the way through without taking a break from the hate.
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Man, for such a hard-ass, Henry Rollins whines- A LOT.
Pete Rogan
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book saved my life in 1996
Jennifer B.
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A raw, personal, and very honest collection of prose. This helped me so much when I was facing similar dark times.
Stephen McQuiggan
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I don't know what I did to become this monster/Probably everything I possibly could”
Miss Nessa
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a hard read, but I made it through.
Every single page you just want to go pat Henry on the head and say "There, there" but going by many of the journal entries, it's the opposite of what he would want you to do.
You can smell the PTSD from a miles away, it's a heart wrenching read. can't imagine how hard it would have been to write.
The book has 3 distinct spaces, they come away like an onion peel, like all the different ways he could think to deal with the pain. The first layer is the mo
Oct 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: people
A heartbreaking documentation of loneliness building up. Intense. I won't rate this one, it would immediately feel judgmental (well written book, though, I must say for clarity). I would not recommend this to many readers. Could work as an insight into the vicious cycle of ever growing loneliness. Therefore, an enlightening read for therapists seeking to understand the working of the mind of a loner. Most reviewers here seem to place the core of the "story" to the Cole killing, but if you read a ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Poetic, gritty, and isolated are the best words to describe the writing of Rollins. In this book set he writes about the loss of his best friend and the anger and meaninglessness it caused, creating sharp, stabbing little pictures into his memory of events, as is his style. If you want beauty in your poetry he is not the poet you want. His work is modern, dirty city.
Wendy Tako
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will bring you to the darkest lane in your imagination. Very raw and brutal and yet it empowers ten fold. Not your normal self help kinda read.
Andrea  Greene Myers
Should be alternately titled "This is PTSD." I started the book as a fan and ended it with mixed feelings toward him. I listen to his radio show and read his columns occasionally in the LA Weekly, and he seems like the nicest person. I thoroughly enjoy them. But reading about his feelings of hate and wanting to kill really turned me off. I understand totally he went through it for sure after what happened - his best friend Joe Cole shot before his very eyes after being out together, and he was a ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Poetry, prose, diary entries, and other writings from the time period that he was releasing and touring what is arguably his best music, this collection also represents what might be Rollins' best writings. The murder of his best friend Joe Cole (that he witnessed) looms over the second two thirds of this book, much like it would loom over Henry to this day, but it certainly isn't the only subject that he tackles. Just like any person who experiences a horrible tragedy, the senseless taking of a ...more
Shhhtevie St. Evie
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Some of Henry Rollin's pieces really tapped into my paranoid and distrusting side. I found quite a few of his prose pieces to be highly relatable to those of us who feel alien from our surrounding society; yet other pieces that felt entirely redundant (we get it Rollins, you like pain and you distrust everyone). Yet...the amount of redundancy feels intentional because it is claustrophobic, isolating, and paralyzing. As a reader you feel trapped in this cycle of constructing walls in order to shu ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A better collection than Black Coffee Blues, See A Grown Man Cry shows a more refined sense of language, attaining lyricism and resonance where too often BCB became merely repetitive. The material is wide-ranging in form: aphorisms, affirmations, elegies, rants, prose poems, meditations, and confessions. Even a piece or two that reads like haiku. There is still a tendency to rely overmuch on abstractions like "madness" or "violence," but especially toward the end, Rollins provides enough glimpse ...more
Tim Edison
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I originally bought theses books of poetry and journal entries as seperate editions as a teenager. At the time I was utterly absorbed and somewhat obsessed with them, particularly "See a Grown Man Cry". My adolescent suffering found a tremendous ally in these books. Looking back now, I find some of the work somewhat awkward and banal, however some of the poems are outstanding and intensely evocative. In fact the writing is always evocative if sometimes a little clumsy. I originally gave the work ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Though Rolins knows how to turn a phrase and paint a devastating mural with words, it's almost too much to take in large doses. This book, if not careful, will make you a cynic and an incurable introvert. Rollins takes advantage of the reader by inflicting his catharsis onto others in hopes that the pain will spread like a disease. Though beautifully written at times, it's a punch to the gut that's going to take a while to heal.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not so much good as the above one and below two... This is sort of like... I guess... nonstop poetry or...something...

Update:: About half of Rollins' books read like this, which means there's about half his collection I'm not keen to read or buy. Which is unfortunate. But I'll live, because his travel books and the like are really excellent.
Mary Beth Kennedy
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Hank's written works following the death of his best friend. Gritty. Wouldnt reccomend reading this one during the winter months unless you want to lay in bed and hate the world for a few days, as if winter wasnt bad enough.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
a redundant literally failure that landed so explosively at the heart of my personal story that i read every word over a couple of days. i can't imagine getting past page 20 without relating to Rollins' anger, ego and prolonged loathing.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the more real and raw works Rollins released. It centers around his life after the death of his best friend, Joe Cole. It's visceral, violent and, at times, depressing. If you have seen into that Abyss then this book is for you.
Kevin Fowler
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm no Rollins scholar as far as his writing goes, but this is the most vulnerable stuff I've read from him. No shit, it consists of journal entries he kept the year before and after his best friend Joe Cole died. Don't pick it up when you're in a good mood.
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Henry Rollins (born Henry Lawrence Garfield; often referred to simply as Rollins) is an American singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, author, actor and publisher.

After joining the short-lived Washington, D.C. band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the Californian hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band's breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and

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Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
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“You don't make me feel like you used to.
That's why I'm leaving
That's why people leave each other
They come to their senses and get selfish again.”
“I will do my best to dodge tonight's depression
Hide in sleep
Damage myself in dreams
Wake up older, slightly more used.”
More quotes…