Everything Is Wrong with Me : A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong
Fans of Jason Mulgrew's wildly popular blog know that everything really is wrong with him. The product of a raucous, not-just-semi-but-fully-dysfunctional Philadelphia family, Jason has seen it all-from Little League games of unspeakable horror to citywide parades ending in stab wounds; from hard-partying longshoremen fathers to feathered-hair, no-nonsense, kindhearted mothers; and from conscience-crippling Catholic dogmas to the equally confounding religion of women. With chapter titles like "My Bird: Inadequacy and Redemption" (no, he is not referring to a parakeet) and "On the Relationship Between Genetics and Hustling," Everything Is Wrong with Me proves that, as Jason puts it, "writing is a fantastical exercise in manic depression"-but he never fails to ensure that laughter is part of the routine.Includes an excerpt from Jason Mulgrew's new book 236 Pounds of Class Vice President.
Blogger Mulgrew, an Irish Catholic son of working-class South Philly, grew up in the early 1980s. In his irreverent, self-deprecating, but frequently funny first book, based on his blog, he revisits his childhood and adolescence. Following in the footsteps of his storytelling father, who hung out with other guys in dive bars, the author encountered (and makes somewhat cursory use of) characters like the local kleptomaniac, a neighbor's teen aged uncle, who expanded on lessons in hustling previously laid down by a numbers-running grandfather, and the friend who launched further escapades in both entrepreneurship and juvenile pyromania. Mulgrew doesn't dwell sentimentally on his parents' rocky relationship, and in comparison to the seemingly endless run of adventures in ersatz jock-and-studhood, there's relatively little about his mother or his siblings. Instead, the book takes readers deep into a traditional, working-class social world where sports, Jackass-type pranks, and loyalty reigned. True to the lad-lit form and content, the narrative is often downright crude, with a Maxim-article tone. (Mar.)
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March 01, 2010
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