on April 30, 2012
I read this book in one sitting, finding absorbing. It is a personal memoir of someone who for the grace of God could be me, or any of a number of people I have known going through the same time period. The book outlines the childhood, coming of age and aging of a baby boomer who was dealt many of the familiar cards : abusive father, affinity for addition, romantic spirit, musical talent and some just plain bad luck.
George's narrative, when in first person, has a very familiar voice. Reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut with it's subtle wit and so it goes observation about his own life and the lives of the people around him. He is a keen observer, even when he was tripping he was observant of at least his inner landscape. Taking it all with an understanding more than probably 90 percent of the people around him who so bogged own in the day to day business of career and fear. Yet he is kind in his assessments of people - never judging, but observing with the kind of gallows humor that those who really pay attention to life often develop.
There is a point in the book where he inexplicably shifts to third person. I think, only my impression, but I really felt that these were early attempts to write this memoir as a third person fictional narrative. While he is skilled at this technique, I think that his first person accounts were much more compelling.
For me, this was fascinating stuff. The kind of story not usually told in first person. A sort of one flew in the cuckoo's nest vs one flew over. It's not often that such a personal account of subjects like depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction are told in such a complete way. Most books on the subject are not as holistic as this account. They don't paint a picture of an entire person. They may go into the experience of the disorder or disease, but that's just the surface. This takes the reader into the life. And in this respect, it is chilling because you quickly realize just how close to the edge most of us have been at least at some point. And it's a dangerous edge to approach, one which has cut down many a life. Indeed, in the course of reading George's accounts - many of the people he encounters on his journey through this veil of tears do not survive. People you come to understand are lovable, worthwhile people.
This is one of those books that took courage to write and may take a measure of courage to read. But for some, it will be of intense interest. It was for me.
on January 31, 2013
This book should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Especially those among us who think we can be parents. I can honestly say that I've never read anything that moved me more, or twanged at my heartstrings quite so much. George Geisinger has written a totally frank and honest account of his life. He's gone about it with an honesty and bravery that most of us can only aspire to. The difference with this memoir and others that I've read is the skill of the writer. At no point do you want to skip a part.
This is the story of a child so badly abused, that he begun to smoke cigarettes and run away from home at the age of five. The damage inflicted on this intelligent, sensitive soul by an unbalanced and vicious father was not repairable by such a small child, nor the young man he became. Spiralling down into chronic schizophrenia brought on by acute toxic psychosis, this man has endured an existence of fear and solitude through no fault of his own. There are too many beautiful words in this book for me to write down here to give you examples of all that touched me, and all I can say is, that if you read only one book this year, make it this one. You will see life from a whole new perspective.
The beauty of his writing transcends this story, and answers his own question, wondering why God has brought him through everything, and alive today. The answer in my mind would be that this story has to be shared with all, so that they can see the road he walked, and pray never to have that happen to any child again. George says so much that makes life clearer to me. "I never learned how to take care of myself as people learn growing up." The simple truth for all abused, neglected children. On his suicide attempts, he says, "...Hurting myself, expecting someone else to feel the pain." There can be no better explanation for those desperate cries for help. This man's wit, talent, and humour shine throughout.
He loved and lost everything. From sweet Peaches, to his beloved Yamaha guitar, until one day God found him in a Gazebo, and showed him the way on. People have tried to use him and hurt him, but I do believe he will be fine. I hope you find the love to ease your loneliness gentle man, and I thank you for making me see my life from a new angle of gratitude. This is a success story like no other I've seen. The dozens on this authors list of published works attests to that. If I could give this story ten stars, I would, and whenever I think that my life is tough, I'll open George Geisinger's book. It's a triumph.
"I ran into the woods, got all cut up on the Jagger bushes, made all the dogs bark, walked on water. Busy day."
on December 22, 2014
Coming to age during the tumultuous 1960s and 70s, I was the farthest from being classified with the label "Flower Child," and in the spirit of understanding the diverse experiences of the American Culture, as well as supporting independent authors, I chose to read Mr. Gersinger's debut novel, MEMOIRS OF A FLOWER CHILD.
While short, I found these chapters were best digested and enjoyed, on a philosophical basis, by taking my time reading. George has put together some great prose scattered throughout these separate essays, a few written in third person enhancing that particular event.
This is not a chronological life tale and contains some repetition of events, but with his honest and introspective view, this autobiography has given me knowledge and insight. I rather think that I would like this author, even with our youthful political ideology differences.
Thank you, George Geisinger, for your bravery in telling your story.
on January 8, 2013
What a brave book to write! George takes us on his journey through life. Early in life (about 5), he learns to run from problems. He spends the next decades perfecting this reaction. He is extremely talented musically and lets music say what he can't seem to put into words. At college, he finds love and drugs. Unfortunately for him, the drugs create havoc in his mind because of a genetic condition. His physical being as well as his memory are permanently compromised.
I loved his description of his "trip" in the forest. His belief he was talking to the animals, hearing all nature talking to him. I knew people who said this happened to them. I felt his fear when he was caught by the "two-legs".
George made me feel like an observer to the events in his life, I was there with him. I knew his fear, pain and frustration.
When he lost the ability to play the trumpet and then the guitar, my heart broke.
Although he does say his father was abusive and that eventually he discovered he had experienced more abuse than he thought, he still took responsibility for his actions. He even took partial blame for his experience with Kim, a gold digger.
Eventually finding God, he is on a daily road to recovery. From suicidal to a person with a strong desire to live!
Thank you for sharing. I believe this story will help people see how close we all are to the edge at times. It will also lead us to keep fighting!