Friday, July 17, 2009

Book Review

I hardly ever read memoirs. The last one I read was Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast". So when I heard that Stephen Elliot was mailing out free advanced reading copies of his book, I said to myself, "why not?" It would be a nice interruption to my Infinite Summer madness. I sent him an email, and had it within a week.

The book is subtitled: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder. That describes the book perfectly. Elliott has so many flaws, but I think that is what draws the reader into his story. He has daddy-issues; his mom died when he was young; he's abused copious amounts of both legal and illegal drugs; he keeps casual relationships with women who like to make him dress up in a camisole before getting in bed; he likes to be cut and beaten. It's a complete laundry list of dysfunctions.

The (what I would call) "guiding hand" that pushes the story forward regards the murder trial of Hans Reiser. From wikipedia:
On 28 April 2008, Reiser was convicted of the first degree murder of his wife, Nina Reiser, who disappeared in 2006. On 29 August 2008, Reiser pled guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder, as part of a settlement agreement that included identifying the location of Nina Reiser's body.
He jumps around a lot with times and places, and sometimes appears to just start a new thought before ending the last one. Maybe I was too tired when I read it, though. Either way, it's an interesting and quick read, so give it a shot. He'll be reading at Elliott Bay Book's on Friday, September 18th. Perhaps I can formulate some questions for him before that time.

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