Read 2/22/10 - 2/23/10
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended
Many thanks to Harper Perennial for sending me a copy of Kevin Sampsell's "A Common Pornography" for review. Had they not generously shipped it to me, I am ashamed to admit I may never have read it. Those who know me, and my taste in literature, would not be surprised by that statement. I am pretty vocal when it comes to non-fiction. I tend to steer clear for many reasons, which I shall spare you the details of here. Let's just say reading "A Child Called It" when I was younger, and more recently "Eating Animals" have scarred me for life (for different reasons, of course!).
My first reaction, as I started reading, was one of disbelief. It's hard to believe that all of this stuff happened to one person. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a collection of memories, real situtations that happened with real people. What a crazy life this must have been for him.
My second reaction was "oh my god! His family and friends are going to read this! What will his mother think? What will his SON think?"
It certainly takes a very strong, confident person to take the good, bad, and horrific moments in their lives and write them all out for the entire world to see. And it's not just enough to write them out, is it? It's a matter of accepting the truth... of holding that mirror up to yourself and not flinching at what looks back at you. It's a matter of understanding that these are the moments that have shaped you, that made you who you are today.
I had to constantly remind myself that the words I had been reading were real. That this was not just a fictional story of made up characters that have all these hilarious, embarrassing, and sometimes frightening things happening to them. That these are real moments that occured in a real persons life.
I want to thank Kevin for opening up, and being brave enough to share these snapshots of his life with me. He helped me to realise that I am not the only one out there with skeletons in my closet, memories that make my skin crawl and others that make me laugh till I cry. He helped me realise that it is natural to be human.
Don't let this memoir pass you by. Don't wait for a copy to fall into your lap. You will be missing out on a wonderful and whacky read!