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The Bohemian Love Diaries: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Slash Coleman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Infused with southern charm, this irresistibly weird and wonderful story chronicles Slash Coleman’s upbringing in a warped but warm-hearted household of eccentric artists. Descended from a posse of off-beat immigrants--including a grandfather who danced at the Moulin Rouge--and raised near the capital of the Confederacy during the 1970s and ’80s, young Slash sets out to find true love. Unfortunately, he’s his own worst enemy. Obsessions with Evel Knievel, rock band KISS, and crisscrossing the country to find the girl of his dreams set his quest for happiness on a hapless course.
            Hilarious and profound, Coleman slowly comes to terms with his father, a genius sculptor and volatile alcoholic, and his mother, a Holocaust survivor who makes him promise never to reveal that he’s Jewish. A touching portrait emerges of a young artist whose passionate spirit refuses to be suppressed. A swift kick to the funny bone, The Bohemian Love Diaries and its laugh-out-loud perversity conjure Jonathan Ames and Augusten Burroughs with a tender edge, revealing what might have happened if John Hodgman raised Holden Caulfield in Chuck Palahniuk’s attic. It will leave you howling.

Editorial Reviews


A Library of Virginia People's Choice Award Finalist

"Slash Coleman does justice to his subject—and then some ... by turns darkly comic, side-splittingly funny, and poignant."
New York Journal of Books

“Coleman exhibits flashes of humor and thoughtful introspection. Passages analyzing his mother’s reasons for hiding her Jewish identity prove especially moving. ... An entertaining examination of the plight of an artist’s progeny.”
Kirkus Reviews

"This one-man off-Broadway act is proving over and over again that he has the ability to tell a story in a way that few can. His words capture us, his drive amazes us, and his works entertain us.
—Slush Heap blog

"An uncommonly good book ... Slash is a wicked storyteller. But, unlike many other successful TV, radio, or just-in-your-living-room storytellers, he also knows how to put his stories on paper in a way that doesn't make them wilt. And the book is frequently very funny. Even more: in places it really makes you laugh out loud ... But there is a lot of tenderness and love in this book. ... So yes, go and buy The Bohemian Love Diaries, it will not change your life, but it will definitely make it richer. Enjoy."
—Simply Jews blog

"Everyone has a story, but how you tell that story is what will be the deciding factor that shines a spotlight upon the past you. Author Slash Coleman has a spot light so damn bright upon him you would think his alter ego was Batman. However, the story he tells will literally cause Batman to hang his head in shame. And that is AWESOME. The Bohemian Love Diaries is one that most of us could only ever dream of. I like to visualize it is a fluid mix of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Moonrise Kingdom but factual. ... This book will show you the growth of a child to man who knew love, found love, lost love, and wrapped it all up in a crazy offbeat adventure called life. By the end of the book, you will wish your life were even a fraction as quirky as Coleman’s and will be suggesting it to everyone to read."
—Musing with Crayola Kym blog

"A heartbreak of a memoir ... Slash can write, and write well, and make me laugh out loud at the idea of a boy hacking at a tree, but it took him a serious journey to get to where he was writing down his own story. ... I loved every embarrassing moment he shared. ... It’s a bit Running with Scissors mixed with Mennonite in a Little Black Dress meets I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell has dinner with every six-word memoir book made at Smith, sleeps with Girl, Interrupted. ... The book ends in a full-circle road trip with his father.  I won’t give it away, but it’s beautiful. I don’t often say a plot is beautiful, but the way that this bohemian discovers the truth of his father is devastatingly pretty.  Not girl-pretty, just something-floating-in-space-pretty. This book won’t be hard to spot since the cover has a small child in underwear and a helmet, which makes complete sense to parts of this story. I dare you to read it to get to the truth."
—Books and Bowel Movements blog

"It's a barrel full of crazy. Coleman writes in such a way that I felt I was reading a Dali painting. If you like your biographies on the quirky side, then you'll enjoy this book. It's one of the most original, entertainingly weird books I've read in a long time."
—I Feel So Unnecessary blog

“Slash Coleman has de-gentrified my soul.”
—GARY SHTEYNGART, New York Times–bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story

"Slash Coleman has a fresh point of view, an original story, and tons of style. The Bohemian Love Diaries is a fun, raucous read by a fantastic storyteller."
—MISHNA WOLFF, bestselling author of I'm Down

“Coleman comes alive on the page in this memoir about the bizarre and beautiful life of a free spirit and artist who navigates through life with his heart. It’s easy to fall in love with him as a reader, and I can’t decide if I wished I was on the journey with him or if I’m completely content to simply read about it and enjoy the laugh. One thing is for sure, Evel Knievel would be proud.”
—OPHIRA EISENBERG, host of NPR's Ask Me Another and author of Screw Everyone

“Slash’s endearing and idiosyncratic memoir feels wonderfully intimate, like he’s whispering his life’s greatest and most heartbreaking moments right into your ear. A lively, wonderful read.”
—MARA ALTMAN, author of Thanks for Coming

About the Author

Slash Coleman wrote, produced, and starred in the PBS special The Neon Man and Me, which also won the United Solo Award for best drama. The personal perspectives blogger for Psychology Today and a regular contributor to Storytelling magazine, he appeared on the NPR series How Artists Make Money and is creating The New American Storyteller for PBS. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 436 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (July 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DMI8S88
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,239 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading Slash Coleman's The Bohemian Love Diaries July 9, 2013
Normally when I see a book having "a memoir" added in small letters under the title, I run to the other end of the book store. And I cannot deny that it was hard to suppress the familiar feeling of slight dread, liberally mixed with foreboding of a long and boring task, when I opened the first page. Of course, I have perused the dust cover of The Bohemian Love Diaries first, just to find out an elegant way to skip most of the book and still produce a believable book report. And of course, the dust cover only exacerbated that foreboding. Cynic that I am, the more a book is lauded by the kind of people who are allowed onto its dust cover, the less I believe it is any good.

Anyway, this is all behind me. I am happy to report that the dread and the foreboding disappeared somewhere during the first page. And that I have finished the book roughly in two consecutive sittings (well, lying downs in my case). Only now I have another problem. It is indeed an uncommonly good book, and now I have two difficult goals: how to avoid using the superlatives already used by the people that were allowed onto the dust cover and how to overcome another, even more difficult limitation I've imposed on myself. You see, I consider that using quotes from this book, even short ones, will be akin to spoilers. The book is definitely a finely cut gem, and quoting from it will be like chipping off pieces and destroying its integrity*.

So I've kind of painted myself into a corner now. And I have to get to the task from a different end. Instead of talking about the beginning sentence (which is also a good one, believe you me, but I can't quote it here), the narrative, the style etc.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review from Closed the Cover August 11, 2013
In The Bohemian Love Diaries: A Memoir by Slash Coleman, Slash details his journey to self-discovery through hilarious anecdotes from his childhood and beyond. He struggles to come to terms with his eccentric alcoholic father, his Holocaust-survivor mother and his own off-beat artistic tendencies. The book itself is eccentric; at times weird and hilarious and at others slow and tedious it's a book I enjoyed reading when I wasn't sure what I wanted to read. No matter how I was feeling it was always there to satisfy my itch for a good story yet it isn't a book that requires a strong commitment. It's one that can be read in short doses without feeling like it must consume your night or your life. It can be read a few chapters at a time, always available but never obsessive.

The best thing about the book was that it felt real. It's possible, it's always possible, that stories are embellished especially when they are being drawn from the memories of a child but the stories in The Bohemian Love Diaries felt so absurd and unusual it's hard to believe anyone would make them up. I have stories like that in my own family; stories that are so ridiculous they simply have to be true. The opening anecdote had me near tears from laughing at the imagery. A grown man arguing with a shopkeeper about buying beer on Sunday, a fight, and a little boy in a helmet with an orange-visor relishing it all and just waiting to spew cursed venom at the cashier. It was just a story but I felt as though I was simply standing nearby watching it all unfold. I felt like a passerby who couldn't turn away from a car crash or other pure dysfunction. I was captivated. I felt the same way with most of the other stories although I can't say I was smitten with them all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bohemian Love Diaries is Boffo July 13, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An O'Henry meets Picasso journey through a Beatnik Wonderland toward Maturity.
Slash Coleman's, THE BOHEMIAN LOVE DIARIES, is an amazing escapade - a hilarious and melancholy tale of love found, lost, forgotten, and misunderstood.
Bizarre, Beautiful, Brave, Bewildering, Blissful, Brazen, Bittersweet, Brilliant: Bohemian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for true book lovers!! August 22, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good book that you just cannot put down, here is the answer. I stayed up late 3 nights in a row, after late shifts at work, because I had to see what was going to happen next. I was not dissapointed. I look forward to another book by Slash!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal story August 22, 2013
What can I say about this book? How about I fell in love with Slash, his family, and the moments that shaped him into who he is today. His stories are awkward, eccentric, hilarious, and even bewildering at times but all too human. Give Slash a little time and you will love him like I did. I fell in AND out of love with his girlfriends along with him, I joined him on his crazy escapades, and became part of his funny, strange family. I cherished the moments when he wasn't afraid to take crazy chances and let loose. After all, are any of the choices we make in our life mistakes or experiences to build and grow from? Wedged between the oddball humor and references to childhood icons are several life lessons to be learned. With smooth and fast paced writing, I was taken on a journey with Slash, through his trials and tribulations and his search for love and purpose. I relived some childhood memories along the way. I arrive now at the present, just having read the life story of a successful new author who made it happen. A good book makes you think and alters you in some way. And I am changed. "But this story that we share changes things between us", the professor continues. "It engages me in a conversation with the rest of the world, with you. Telling this story won't change the past, and if you retell your own story it won't change your past. What I've found, though, is in telling our stories it changes us and our relationship to what happened, and in the end that's all that really matters."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful
I do not want to repeat what the other 5-star reviewers said about the book. I loved the style, the content, the stories... this book satisfied all my needs of a good read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Veronika Krejci
4.0 out of 5 stars Bohemian Rhapsody
The first two thirds of this book is as raw and soul-baring as Nick Hornby and simultaneously as clever, funny, and absurd as David Sedaris. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Rambles on forever
It starts out pretty good, but then it just goes into lala land. I'm ok going off for a little while but it just seemed very disjointed. A memoir?? Read more
Published 6 months ago by teufel
5.0 out of 5 stars To Know Him and His Writing is to Love Him.. Unconditionally
Insightful. Delicious. Thought provoking. Huggable. Award worthy. These are descriptions that would stand for both Slash and the content. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Raleigh R. Pinskey
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly fun read
Really a very fun, interesting read. I'm not the biggest fan of biographies other than historical ones... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diana
5.0 out of 5 stars I Was Afraid to Read My Son's Memoir
I was afraid to read my son's memoir. I heard recently that authors who write their memoirs are self indulgent and full of lies. Read more
Published 7 months ago by V. Coleman
2.0 out of 5 stars Disagree with other reviewers
What a surprise...I disagree with the average reviewers again. I like memoirs. I enjoy reading about individuals who overcome adversity to find purpose and satisfaction. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Monica K
5.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant surpise
This book was a great surprise ! one of the most enjoyable books that I have read in a long time.
Published 8 months ago by nancy a schmitz
4.0 out of 5 stars i feel so vanilla
i'm not finished with it yet, each little bit is like an unfamiliar treat. taking my time to thoroughly taste it.
Published 8 months ago by redesign12
3.0 out of 5 stars A struggle
I agree with many readers on amazon. It is and was a struggle and stopped half way through. At least with Proust. I read three volumes. A bit too bizarre for me.
Published 8 months ago by Monk
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More About the Author

NPR says author/performer/Psychology Today blogger/French fry eater Slash Coleman, "has the power to change the way people think," and WGBH Boston calls him  "extremely provocative and entertaining."

The "Dear Uncle Slash" advice columnist at, a 2013 Storytelling World Award Winner and the 2012 United Solo Winner for Best Drama, Slash is best known  for his one man PBS special, "The Neon Man and Me."  

As a performer, he's been featured at: TEDx, The International Storytelling Center, Pete Seeger's Clearwater Festival and hundreds of national theatres. Slash lives in New York City and splits his time between performing and writing new material for the stage, film, and television.

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