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Articles, Book Reviews

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson Review

Amityville Horror Cover
Jay Anson’s Amityville Horror

You most likely already saw the many movies that were based on this book. Jay Anson takes on a subject that has led to a lot of speculation, lawsuits, and money over the course of many years. “The Amityville Horror” by Jay Anson is a fascinating book with a lot to offer true crime and horror fans. However, it is not exactly like the movie, as you may have guessed, and in fact, you may be surprised by how it deviates at times. Anson is a gifted writer, taking on a great subject matter and focusing on framing it in an easy to read manner.

Dead Man’s House

The story of “The Amityville Horror” starts with a 1974 multiple homicide. In a Dutch colonial house in Amityville, New York, Ronald DeFeo Jr. wakes up and kills 6 of his family members. Years later the house is unable to be sold until George and Kathy Lutz show up and buy it at an unusually low price. When they move in, things start going awry. The paranormal activity starts to work its way into the lives of the Lutz family and even the local community church is getting harmed. The story unravels to the point where the family runs for their lives and never looks back.

The Tension Is Tremendous

Jay Anson builds the tension quite well. While the first half of this book punches you in the face, Anson finds a way to slow it down and then rev back up until the powder keg explodes in the final chapters. What is most alarming is the mysterious illnesses and smells that plague the priests that were trying to bless the home. The noises, the movements, the cold, and a lot of the other elements of paranormal activity aren’t that crazy, but the priest’s accounts are absolutely terrifying.

Lies Or Reality?

The book ends with a nice horrific touch. Anson took on this book with 45 hours of interviews that the family spoke about. After the release of the book, in the afterword, the author discusses that authenticity of some of the claims, the lawsuits, and much more. Some say that the family made all of this up, since the house hasn’t had any sort of issues at all.

Others are quick to note that George Lutz was involved in witchcraft and Satanism. Some will cite all sorts of different stories, but at the end of the day, reading this book was fascinating. It’s an interesting book, and that alone is well worth your time. I recommend reading it, and just enjoying the narrative that Anson writes. Forget the rest of what you know about Amityville and the movies, and just read this one. It’s a fun read, although there are some horrific moments as well.

You can purchase “The Amityville Horror” by Jay Anson by clicking here, it’s not expensive.

Articles, Book Reviews

63 Documents The Government Doesn’t Want You To Read by Jesse Ventura Review

63 Documents The Government Doesn't Want You To Read
Jesse Ventura Cover

There’s a lot of things that the United States is not telling their citizens. In fact, after reading this books, I am inclined to believe that John F. Kennedy was killed because he wanted to be more transparent with the general public. You may not want to admit it, and you may want to argue with others as to whether or not the United States is a villain, but I ask you to read this book. “63 Documents The Government Doesn’t Want You To Read” By Jesse Ventura is going to be the one book that is going to open your eyes to a lot of lies that you may not want to believe. This is mostly unclassified, free public domain documents. So it’s not Ventura just talking. He makes comments on each one, and tells stories from his military career, but mostly it’s the documents.

The Government Doesn’t Care About You

The biggest takeaway I got from this book was that the government doesn’t care about the individual. There was a point where Kanye West got lambasted for saying something to that effect during a telethon for Katrina victims. Do you remember that? He said that George Bush doesn’t care about black people. It got a lot of negative press.

But guess what? The U.S. Government doesn’t really care that much. In this book, you are going to see the truth. The documents found here are part of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and they are straight from the horse’s mouth.

What Will You See?

Well, you’ll find that the military wanted to hijack airplanes and then say Cuba did it. You’ll read about the CIA’s Manchurian Candidate programs, and you’ll see how healthcare fraud helped spread dengue fever, just to name a few things. There’s so much to this book that you’re going to kick yourself, and perhaps never want to vote again.

You Think Trump Is Bad?

At the end of the day, if you in fact read “63 Documents The Government Doesn’t Want You To Read” By Jesse Ventura, you are not going to be afraid of trump. I’m not. You’re going to be skeptical about your government, because you know what? They don’t have your best interest in mind. You’re going to be flabbergasted by what you are going to read in this book. I was shocked at how many lies are throw out, spun, and spoon fed us. Noam Chomsky and others were right, there’s a lot of nefarious characters working under the guise of Uncle Sam.

I highly recommend you buy “63 Documents The Government Doesn’t Want You To Read” By Jesse Ventura by clicking here. It’s under $5 used, and it’s a compelling non-fiction read.

Articles, Book Reviews

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi Review

Helter Skelter True Crime Book
Helter Skelter 1974 Cover

The 1974 book came out far before I was born, but it’s one hell of a book to read in 2016. Oh, it’s 2017? Well I finished this book in December of last year, and I haven’t been able to write about it until now. What you’re going to find with this book is that we haven’t seen anything in the last decade to compare with the psychopaths that came through the past. Charles Manson isn’t a killer in the way that you may expect. In fact, he’s one of the most confident weirdos in the world. This is touted as the best-selling true crime book in the history of print, and it is one of the more fascinating reads that I’ve read in a long time. “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi is a 500-page mammoth, but it doesn’t read like you would expect.

A Court House Retelling

What caught me off guard about some of the book’s more interesting elements is that it is written like a court document. What you’re going to be reading is a lot like an episode of Matlock or something like that. It’s really played up quite well. I’ve recently been watching film from the O.J. Simpson case, and this book reminds me of that. Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry together work through some of the finer details of what happened with the Manson Murders. This book is told in first person at times, and third person at others. It describes every element that you want to know about Charles Manson, and the murders that the family committed.

Gruesome It Is Not

If you’re trying to read “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi so that you can get some stellar gore, turn away. This book is not a gorey, horror movie. It’s a good book, no doubt, but it’s not gorey. It’s a classic example of literary work that pulls punches. You expect this to get really graphic, really fast, but it’s not. It’s a slow-moving book that uses a lot of big words. Ok, that’s odd, but still, the language used is like a lawyer’s guide at times, because it really focuses on the trials of Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and the members of the Manson Family. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but I expected something else. I really didn’t expect the treatment of the whole story as a documentary film written out in a book. But then again, your imagination is going to run wild with some of the descriptions. The facts are there, the story is straight forward, and it’s impressive how Manson was able to yield so much power, even though he wasn’t a big man.

Still Worth Checking Out

I read the 25th anniversary edition and it was good. Are you missing out? Not really. This is a classic story of how a confident, good looking man, can command a lot of power. Manson is truly an interesting character, and this book details just how powerful someone could become if they truly gave no crap. “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi is an incredible read, if you’re a fan of true crime. I went through a stream of true crime books, and this was on my list, although it’s not my favorite. It’s a good one, but great? Na. You’ll like if you’re a fan of true crime and haven’t read about The Manson Family or the crimes they committed.

You can purchase “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi for under a buck used, or you can purchase a new one HERE.

Articles, Book Reviews

Revival by Stephen King Book Review

Stephen king
Revival by Stephen King

I was working on a novel about revivals, and then this book hit the stands. This is the second time someone has usurped my idea, so I stopped working on that novel. I finally sat down to read this book, and it was fascinating. If you have read other Stephen King books, then you can expect a similar scope of writing. King knows how to pull you in with a good opening, then slowly leave you with bread crumbs in a forest full of truth and lies. With the release of “Revival”, King branches into a story that mixes what you would expect from Mary Shelley and Nikola Tesla. That’s about as much as you need to know without getting too much into the plot.

Fast Moving Religion

I loved the way that Stephen King creates a smoking gun of religious intent. The religious elements in this book are fascinating, as they fall in line with my own experiences, and changes. The obsession, the death, the life, and the belonging that you wish you had. This book takes on Christendom in such a subtle way, but it doesn’t mock faith, and it doesn’t charge it as a bad thing. It’s a fascinating look at our humanity, mixed with a science fiction horror tale that really does work well.

Taking On Frankenstein

If you’re a fan of “Frankenstein”, then you are going to feel like you’re reading a spiritual sequel. King navigates a lot of arenas that are similar, and then turns into a Lovecraftian writer. I loved it. There are moments towards the end that even reminded me of “Shocker”. If you love Mary Shelley, then you will no doubt love how King has used the source work of her writing and turned it into an even greater element. This is a mix of horror, science fiction, and religious elements. This all works well.

Revival Flies By

“Revival” by Stephen King is a fast-moving book. It’s breezy, it has a simple premise and then unravels into chaos towards the end. The finale may leave you stunned, but the buildup is great, and fun to read. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend picking it up if you’re a fan of Stephen King but don’t want to journey into some of his older books.

You can buy “Revival” by Stephen King by clicking here.

Articles, Book Reviews

The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX Review

Nofx Hepatitis Bathtub Book Cover
Nofx Hepatitis Bathtub Book Cover

This year has started out with reading a lot of non fiction. That includes reading books for school about historical research. Unlike “Tranny” this book was heavily accessible, and easy to read. I loved the honesty that is shown by the band and it really is a refreshing book about punk rock. Although, there are some predictable moments, and some things that I already knew. There are also other elements that make this one of the most brutally honest reads I’ve had the pleasure of going over in a long time. The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX is not just a book for fans, it’s for anyone that wants to read about the exploits of punk rockers that come into millions after hard work for about 20 to 30 years.

Brutally Honest

This is not the Motley Crue story. This is not “Airheads”, this is a strong book with a lot of deep cuts. Within the first few chapters there’s a story that had me switching gears. I had to stop reading. The story about molestation hit me hard, and it made me cry. Then there were stories about sexual problems, deviance, and so much more. Growing up misunderstood, a punk, in west Los Angeles and so much more was detailed in the pages of the book. I can relate. I grew up in the west side of Los Angeles, and I wanted to fit in. I never fit in. I still don’t fit in. I’m a weirdo even now, and it’s a sad thing. This book is refreshing as it is brutally honest, and it’s fascinating.

Punk Rock Money

I once had a post of mine go viral when I said that NOFX had sold out. A lot of fans came out and told me that I was an idiot. At the time I held fast to my belief that Fat Mike had sold out. However, after reading, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX, I get it. Mike and his band didn’t make a lot of money for 20 some odd years. In fact, they got no respect, and they were going through some serious problems, even if they did get to have sex with girls, do drugs, and enjoy the rock lifestyle at times. I still don’t like the notion of punk rock celebrity status, but eh, it happens. There’s a lot more introspective stories than just talk about how rich they were or how cool they are. There’s a brevity to it, and there’s lucid moments from all of them, including notes from Dave, the original member of the band that had to leave. Dave’s not here, is an interesting moniker that you see here and there.

Star Rating For The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX

At the end of the day, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX is a great read. If you’re a fan of the punk band or not, you’ll love the honesty and elements found in their stories. The fact that the band was so open to several things, including telling about their childhood, and their regrets is great. I loved this book far more than Laura Jane Grace’s book. These guys wrote something that felt genuine, and didn’t seem like they were going for a cash grab. Even so, it’s not perfect. It’s not accessible to just anyone, you have to really know or want to know the band, otherwise, you won’t be interested in what a bunch of idiots have to say about their punk rock days. With that in mind, I give this book a 4 out of 5.

Did you read The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX? If so, drop me a line below.

You can buy The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX by clicking here, because you should and reading is fundamental.

Articles, Book Reviews

Tranny by Laura Jane Grace Review

Tranny by Laura Jane Grace
Tranny by Laura Jane Grace Cover

The full working title for this book is Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace. At first glance, I was shocked that someone that hated the term would use it to name her book. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. In interviews across media, Laura Jane Grace addressed the naming convention, coming down with the notion that it’s not only something to not be afraid of, but rather something that would stand out, and in not so many words, sell more books. Well, it worked because this has become quite the hot seller, and I was able to track down a copy of it, since I admire her in some ways. Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace is NOT what I thought it would be, and you know what? I’m conflicted about the whole book, which was hard to finish.

Don’t Feel Sorry For Tom Gabel

The first thing that I got from this book was that there is some regret, but more so glorification of the punk rock lifestyle. At times, there is a sense that Grace is in fact sorry for the past, and maybe she is. However, some of the stories seem to be glorifying the past, including the joys of drug use, the joys of casual sex, infidelity, and living the rock star life. I was surprised to read how easy the elements were for Tom Gabel, who would become Laura Jane Grace down the line. I absolutely was surprised by how easy it was to read about sexual exploits in a fashion that was more akin to Motley Crue than to punk rockers. I say that as a former punk rocker myself, and former record label owner, with not even 1 girl to go to bed with. I guess I’m just an ugly dude. Regardless, Grace writes with a flowing pen, and doesn’t seem to be full of remorse at times, but then makes it seem like she knows she was bad, but had a lot of fun. I guess you can have it both ways?

No Surprises

I’ve been listening to Against Me for a long time. I have read the lyrics, read interviews, listened to Laura speak, and nothing surprised me about this book. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. The linear path that she writes on is fascinating to some, but for me, it’s old news. A lot of it was already explored, and a lot of it was self-inflicted wounds and elements that she knew she was doing and did them anyways. There’s a lack of pathos here. I can’t have empathy for someone that writes in a way that just seems formulaic at times. I guess that’s my own problem, but the book reads like an A to B formula of regular mental issues, not necessarily transsexual elements. That being said, there are some things in the book that don’t make sense. The stories just seem convoluted, or forced, and perhaps embellished.

The Struggle Is Real

Peel away the rock stardom, the money, and you get a human look at the singer from Against Me. I appreciated the honesty at times, but some of it didn’t seem so genuine to me. There were moments where it was just “matter of fact” type of writing. As a writer, I can tell when someone is polishing the truth with a little bit of shimmer, and that’s what you get at times. I know we all struggle, and I’m not diminishing Grace’s journey as a transsexual, but when you write about certain things in a way that just seems disingenuous, it comes out wrong, in my opinion. Now, that’s not to say that she’s not being honest, I don’t know her personally, but from the way this is written, there’s some disconnects.

Star Rating For Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace

Ok, I had a hard time with this book. I wanted to love it. I find Laura Jane Grace to be amazing, or did. This book really did a lot to make her “human”. She is and she is great, but you can tell that money, and acceptance has changed who she is. The elements of this book that didn’t fit well with me aren’t killers, but at the same time, they derail what I thought of Grace. I pictured a struggling artist looking for acceptance, but instead, found another rich person that glorifies some “fun” from the past, only to struggle with fame, fortune, and more. I don’t know. I didn’t love the book, but didn’t hate it either. With that in mind, I’m going to give it a 3 out of 5. Unless you’re in love with Grace and her music, you won’t find this book to be necessary for your collection. It wasn’t that good, to be honest, and I struggled with finishing it. Grace doesn’t come across as a sincere person sometimes, but rather just another punk rock icon, with a lot of money, and happens to be going through the transitions of a transsexual. Maybe I need to read it again, but right now, I’m working on other books. I don’t recommend this for everyone, I just don’t. But then again, maybe you may like it, I don’t know.

You can pick up Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace by clicking here and ordering it online.

Did you read Tranny by Laura Jane Grace? Drop me a line below and let me know.

Book Reviews

Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley Review

Fortunate Son By Walter Mosley Paperback
Fortunate Son By Walter Mosley Paperback

I’ve read a lot of books, but nothing has gripped my heart quite as much as “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley. I’m serious. This book had me in tears at times, and I felt the pain and anguish that was written into the story. Walter Mosley’s work is something that no one should miss out on, especially this book. This is a profound book with such heart, such soul, so many layers, and wow, just absolutely wow.

Two Very Different Stories

The book “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley deals with two major stories. This is a story that features a young boy named Thomas, born with a disability, but pulls through. Then you have the story of Eric, a “Nordic Adonis” and super lucky boy. Thomas and Eric are the two boys, and they are brothers, living under a rich roof, where they are friends. However, when Thomas’s father comes into the picture after a stint in jail, he takes Thomas, and his story goes into seriously sad times.

Eric The Fortunate

Eric is a white male that gets everything. He gets all the women, he gets good grades, he has money, power, and lacks a heart. He doesn’t “feel” the same. He is an absolute god amidst boys, and it shows through the story. However, with the loss of his brother Thomas, even though they don’t share the same mother, he has no heart. It’s like Mosley did this on purpose, because Eric’s story is so fascinating, and yet so real. He is lacking something, and it’s truly not found until the third act of this book.

In Eric’s story, you get a lot of interesting points. You are given a fortunate tone throughout. There are even points of sexual conquest that show you that Eric has everything. Even when the mother of his baby cheats on him, he is still “better” in that regards. He is just perfect amidst the world. He’s good looking, he has money, cars, and a big penis. Everything that men want, he has, and Mosley writes him as such, a dichotomy that is shaken by race, since Thomas is black and Eric is white.

Thomas The Unlucky

Even though the story calls Thomas “Lucky”, he’s anything but. He breaks like glass. He falls short of glory. He gets sent to the ghetto of Los Angeles’s deepest slums. His father isn’t kind, and he goes through life trying to make it, and survive. He does just that, he survives. He goes through hell, and gets arrested, and the story doesn’t close off this chapter in his life. He is raped, beaten, belittled, and it was absolutely a horror story of realities that many children and young adults face off against.

Thomas doesn’t get a lucky shake at all. Nothing until the third act in which he’s homeless and looks for Eric. He finds him, and the two finally become a union, brothers forever. But it’s there that things shake up, as the closing reality is so hard, it melts steel, so you really get thrown for a loop.

This Should Be A Movie

The more the story unfolds, the more I think this should be a movie. Does anyone have Tyler Perry’s number? He should get this to film. Someone send him this book. This is a beautiful story with so much soul. Heck, Spike Lee would make this amazing. The final chapters of this book take all the of the foundations built in previous chapters and turn a corner to epic elements. The final act takes you through a beautiful sacrifice, an insanity that I hate to spoil. The raw emotions build and build and then take you through an incredible real world.

Star Rating For “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley

This is it. The star rating for “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley is 5 out of 5. This is the best book I’ve read this year. Mosley enriches an incredible story with such soul. So much is going on here, and it has heart. He breaks Thomas, broken like Jesus Christ, and resurrects. He is the opposite of Eric, and when Eric starts to bring about humanity, Thomas is broken. In order for Eric to be whole, Thomas has to die a little more, and that’s the big metaphor that you get here. Thomas becomes Jesus, and it’s a beautiful portrait of brother love, and the realities of life. I love it. I love this book and recommend it so much. It’s a drama set in the real world. It’s a juxtaposition of the prodigal son, and so much more. It flows well, and it’s wonderful. I loved it.

You can buy “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley by clicking here, and ordering it from Amazon.com

Have you read “Fortunate Son” by Walter Mosley? If so, drop me a line, and let me know.

Book Reviews

The Shining by Stephen King Review

The Shining by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King

It took me a while, but I did it. I finally did it! I read “The Shining” by Stephen King. This is a massive book, and I wasn’t sold on it at first. In fact, it took me 40 chapters to finally start loving the way Stephen King has crafted this novel of horror. The book is somewhat different than the movie in a lot of ways, and you will definitely tell the difference by the time you move towards the mid-point of the novel. I didn’t mind that, I loved the way the narrative worked, but you have to let it bloat, because it truly works like a boiler or furnace, it takes a while to heat up.

Alcoholism The First Villain

At first, I didn’t think that this book was about a haunted hotel. In fact, a good portion of the book explains Jack Torrance’s drinking problem, his abuse of Danny, and his pressure on his wife. As the book goes forward you realize that he’s going through a hard detox as a caretaker to an old hotel. He is commissioned to be an off-season caretaker, and for the most part, he’s doing ok, until Danny starts to have problems, and that sends Jack and Wendy into a tailspin. As the novel tightens up, you get a lot of flashbacks, and content about Jack’s demise, and the bigger picture of alcoholism. Stephen King, in interviews, discussed that a lot of the elements were based on his battle with alcoholism, and it led to creating a very real to life character. Jack’s abuse scared me, as I have dealt with my own battles of abuse as a child. It’s much more magnified in the book versus the movie, that’s for sure.

The Shining Is Different

The shining here is used as a weapon, and is used as a mental element. There’s also a lurking ghost element as well. This is much different to the movie’s element, but it works well throughout. You also get a different ending, a different process, and much more in depth explanations of what Danny’s special power is and how it works. That’s a great thing, and that pushes the novel to all new heights in the latter parts of the book. I appreciates the attention to that detail, and while Danny is a scared kid at times, he pushes on towards the end, and I loved it. At 5 years old, this kid grows a pair of balls, great stuff.

All Hell Breaks Loose

It took me 40 chapters of “The Shining” by Stephen King to start seeing the horror. This is a slow burning book. A lot is explained leading up to the final ten or so chapters, and it’s well worth your investment. I appreciated the attention to the stillness, the bellowing of the hotel, the ghosts, and the madness of Jack Torrance and his drinking problem. All hell breaks loose towards the end, Wendy gets it, Danny gets it, but you don’t see Dick getting it. Unlike the movie, there is salvation, there is no maze, and there’s a lot of details that are missed from the book when hell breaks loose.

Star Rating For “The Shining” by Stephen King

It took me 2 weeks to read this. Longer than any other book I’ve read and reviewed for this blog. I will give “The Shining” by Stephen King 4 stars out of 5. I found it to be very worth my time at the end. I wanted to give up, but I kept going and was given a gift for it. I love the way things turned out, and I appreciated the elements of reality that Stephen King put into place. There’s a lot of nuance here, and it’s not necessarily the same that you would expect if you only saw the movie. The movie is great, no doubt, but this book really gives you closure, and so much more details as to the villain that Jack is, and how bad alcoholism, isolation, and abuse can become. I loved it.

You can buy “The Shining” by Stephen King by clicking here, and get a copy for as low as a buck or two.

Did you read “The Shining” by Stephen King? What did you think? Drop me a line below.

Book Reviews

Flight by Sherman Alexie Review

Flight by Sherman Alexie Cover
Flight by Sherman Alexie Cover

“Flight” by Sherman Alexie is a book that I have been meaning to read for a long time. I finally sat down with it, and it was a lot harder to read than I thought. It’s not because it’s poorly written, it’s because the themes in the story resonate with me so well that I had to put things down and reflect. The greatest books in the world are books that involve massive emotional pulls from your heart forward. If a book can’t grab your heart, then you have to approach it academically alone. That’s not what this book does, and it’s not what Alexie does, he pulls your guts out in this book that really hits home for many of us that have struggled with life, depression, and more.

Introducing Zits

The story revolves around time traveling. Zits is the main character, he is an orphaned Native American teen and he discusses everything in first person. This first person narrative is gut wrenching, real, and definitely on par with some of the most iconic stories I remember. Not since “Mysterious Skin” have I felt so bad about life, and this book definitely takes me to dark places. Zits is a time traveling mass murderer, filled with rage, filled with depression, and is misunderstood throughout. He jumps through various bodies and focuses on talking to various people from different perspectives while reflecting on his own life and actions.

The Struggle of Belonging

Belonging to something is hard. I don’t belong. I am a loner. I’m a freelance writer and work from home. I’m always alone, and I struggle with my thoughts. Zits portrays a severe element that is in all of our humanity, and it’s in regards to relationships. He is being bounced around from home to home as an orphan. Foster parents are the worse, and the details of how he comes to the latest location is rough. He struggles to fit in, he struggles as a Native American, he’s been abused, and he wants to burn down the world because no one seems to accept him at all. The struggle of belonging hits me hard, because I have no major friends, no minor friends for that matter. I haven’t had a phone call in years, and I struggle with depression. I have for a long time. Sherman Alexie paints teenage angst with the mind of an adult, because as a teenager, sometimes it’s not about the girl that got away it’s about how society views us as different. If you have brown skin, you’re different. If you don’t want to adhere to norms, you’re different, and never belong. Zits doesn’t belong.

Building To The End

Zits jumps from time zones to individuals across various points in history. He’s a pilot one day, he’s an Indian hunter in another, he’s a police officer, and he is many things. He goes through the lives of various people in first person. He even sees his father, his mother, and details the alcoholism that grips him and his family. Alexie juxtaposes the realities of Native American culture so well and it’s fascinating. If you know anything about the struggles of Native Americans today, then you realize that Alexie is not just writing about Zits, he’s writing about a larger population that is struggling with alcoholism, defeated by American society, and struggling for new memory.

Star Rating For “Flight” by Sherman Alexie

“Flight” by Sherman Alexie gets 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a strong book with an incredible first person tale of time travel, depression, alcoholism, abuse, and more. It hurts to read sometimes. If you have experienced the degradation of abuse, if you have felt the sting of not belonging, and you struggle with depression, this book will hit you hard. It is hard to read if you are struggling with mental health, but there is a silver lining. The book is just something to behold, a narrative into fiction to tell you that you’re not alone. It’s a fascinating read, and Alexie knows how to really paint a first person narrative with soul. I’m impressed.

You can buy “Flight” by Sherman Alexie by clicking here, and ordering it from amazon.com

Did you read “Flight” by Sherman Alexie? What did you think? Drop me a line in the comments.

Book Reviews

Foxcatcher by Mark Schultz Review

Foxcatcher by Mark Schultz Paperback
Foxcatcher by Mark Schultz Paperback

I was fascinated by how fast I was able to pull through “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz. This is a book that was made into a documentary and full movie. I haven’t seen either options, but if they are anything like this book, holy crap, what a story. This is a book that came out in 2014 and has been one of the best stories that I’ve read about wrestling since “Vision Quest”. The book follows the story of Dave and Mark Schultz and the insanity of a billionaire. It dives into the reaches of what it means to be an athlete, what it’s like to lose a sibling, and how far you’ll go to win Olympic gold.

Money Cannot Buy Everything

John du Pont is portrayed as an eccentric, insane person. What you learn is that with money, you can do almost anything, including collecting people to do your bidding. His love and passion for wrestling made it so that he hired top athletes to wrestle for his team, so that he could watch them, be around them, and transform the sport. This happens in professional wrestling a great deal. “Money marks” are what they are called. They have money and they put on independent wrestling shows because they have money, hiring all of their favorite wrestlers. The big lesson, of course, as you always get with these stories is that money cannot buy everything. John du Pont desperately tries to buy things, and people. He does so with great reckless abandon, and succeeds in a lot of ways to push himself into the world of wrestling, but fails when he goes insane and kills one of his wrestlers, and supposed friends.

From Glory To Defeat To Glory

Mark Schultz paints a fabulous picture of what it is like to be an amateur wrestler. There’s a lot of sacrifice, little money, and focus on the bigger glories that seem to just narrowly miss a lot of Olympians. He talks honestly about cutting weight, wrestling, and the desire to succeed in sports. You get everything from triumphs to utter failure to depression and more. There’s a lot to Schultz and he is brutally honest, without cursing, without getting into sordid details, and perhaps it’s because there were none. Yes, Schultz is not perfect, but his dedication to wrestling seems to put on a religious element at times, and this comes before he converts to LDS.

Madness On Display

The best parts of “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz include the interactions that Mark has with John du Pont. At times you swear that du Pont was going to kill Mark, and not his brother. There is madness here, and something that comes with introversion, psychosis and more. It’s hard to tell where the roots of his madness are, but I can tell you that I haven’t read of a character in fiction that is quite as insane and yet composed as du Pont is. Mark paints him in an almost cartoon like manner, but it’s one of those things that define the adage of “truth is stranger than fiction”, and it’s found in the descriptions, mannerisms, and interactions with du Pont throughout this book.

Star Rating For “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz

I’ve read a lot of books this year, but out of all the things that I’ve read, “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz is my favorite thus far. 5 out of 5 all the way. Mark Schultz pulls backs the curtain of Olympic wrestling, college wrestling, and the obsession that people have with athletes of all different areas. I was impressed with the speed of the story, the length of the details, and the amazing story overall. This is a true American story, and one that you absolutely are going to enjoy, even if you’re not a fan of wrestling. I loved it.

You can buy “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz by clicking here and ordering it from Amazon.com.

Did you read “Foxcatcher” by Mark Schultz? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.