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Brave on the Rocks: If You Don't Go, You Don't See Paperback – August 14, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Emotional Rescue: Essays on Love, Loss, and Life--With a Soundtrack
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harrison's Spilling Open, the market phenom first published by a small press and then picked up by Villard, attracted young women in droves and was the subject of a USA Today cover story. The highly photogenic 25-year-old Canadian-born author/artist's next move was a retreat to Italy, armed with the paintbrushes, scissors, glue and pencils demanded by her montage art, to better reckon with the sudden external pressure. The result is part visual journal, part travelogue, part self-help guide and part feminist manifesto in a form reprising Spilling Open's collagist aesthetic and ethos. In it, Harrison speaks a self-questioning language most young adults will recognize immediately, whether they are famous or not: "Sometimes I feel isolated even more because readers may think that now because I am published... the aches... the questions... and the doubts must vanish... not so quickly" is sprawled across the second piece, in a childlike hand, which switches freely between lower case and capital letters, cursive and print. Comprising nearly 200 colorful collages, many incorporating writing, the book takes the art-therapy style espoused by SARK (Eat Mangoes Naked) and many others to further heights of art and catharsis, and ranges from mundanities ("The wrinkled balled-up black skirt just isn't pulling it off. It's better than shorts and a fanny pack for me though. No extra butt bulk!") to commentary (on tourists: "gripping onto their man's hand, him always leading the way, so much snapping pictures for proof what kind of proof? I don't believe in traveling this way") to mournful introspection. . (On-sale: Aug. 14)Forecast: Expect big sales among Gen-Y lipstick-feminist postslackers, denizens of the 11 cities Harrison plans to tour. Adults who were captivated by Griffin & Sabine may find this reality-based chronicle similarly compelling signaling a possible breakout, and certainly revived sales for Spilling Over.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Written in her teens, Harrison's first book, Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself (2000), was a published journal of stylish, sometimes witty collages and simple text in the tradition of Peter Beard. Personal, immediate, and filled with common angst, Harrison's creation earned her a large following of like-minded teens and young women. Her latest follows a similar formula. The text is a catalog of yearning, hope, and insecurities resembling song lyrics, written a few sentences per image. Overwhelmed by the impact of publishing, she travels to Italy, has adventures ("Zipping along the Riviera on a motorcycle in a bikini singing U2 songs out loud"), and returns home resolved to hang on to her newfound confidence. The art is the book's most interesting aspect. But the direct text will attract young advantaged women, who, in struggling with a similar multitude of options, will appreciate Harrison's personal charge: "What do I have to see? Where do I have to go? Learn that." Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (August 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375756639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375756634
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I must be the biggest fan in the world of 'Spilling Open', thus as you can imagine I was hugely excited for the release of the sequel.
And it is good, just the same style, in a purely wonderful way. It is still as untidy and rich and interesting and colourful as the first. If you didn't like that one, you won't like this.
Although you can tell she has developed new interests and talents, new artistic styles, yet it is just like the first, and equally lovable. I do, however, find 'Spilling Open' a little more healing, Sabrina is much more vulnerable and open, much more 'dishelved', yet 'Brave on Rocks' is more akin to a travel journal, and there is a slight distance between composer and audience that wasn't present in the first.
It is truly very magical, and very worthwhile. Its a real shame it is not available in Australia and other countries out of North America (as far as I know.) If first venturing into Sabrina's work, I strongly suggest you purchase the first one first, though I am not in any way, shape or form discouraging the purchase of 'Brave on the Rocks'. It is as lovely as anything she could produce, which is pretty lovely.
I truly hope there is more where that came from, she has altered my notion of beauty in art.
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Format: Paperback
If you've read Harrison's first book, you've essentially read this one too. This contains more of her free-spirited artwork, which is the high point of the book, but once again the text was wanting; in fact, overall it was remarkably similar to the thoughts in her first book. I went into this book thinking, "Good, maybe she's evolved a little more and we'll get to see the progression." Unfortunately, she hadn't changed enough to warrant another book so soon; it was essentially "More Spilling Open!"

The pithy text hadn't evolved either; again, I know it's based on her journals, but in a lot of cases I wondered why this information was shared with us, because it seemed like filler, not vital. This being the case, I'd rather just look at the art and have the journaling aspects minimized. I must say though, she must be a fairly secure person (though she doesn't seem to see herself as such) to put all her personal baggage right out there in print.

This book seems to have an identity crisis going on: part diary, part art book, part self-help, part adolescent studies. I'm sure it was very healing for her to write, but it comes across as weaker than her first book and not different enough from it. Hopefully she can evolve rather than become a stagnated person who never manages to change: why bother to keep writing if everything is staying the same?
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Format: Paperback
Didn't you hate it when you turned in an essay for class that you knew was better than all of the other kids', but your teacher still gave you a "B" because you didn't quite live up to *your potential*? Enter Brave on the Rocks. It's a great book-- fun and quirky-- but it's not quite Spilling Open (SWH's first book). I love Sabrina's style and crazy wit, but Brave on the Rocks lacks the soul and intimacy of her earlier work. I'm hesitant to say anything critical of Sabrina's work because I admire her in so many ways, but I think both the art and the writing in Brave on the Rocks fall short of the author's potential-- as we saw in the AMAZING Spilling Open. Nevertheless-- Brave on the Rocks is still a daring work with few books that can even compare. Please support this wonderful, adventurous artist! Buy this book-- and her first one too!
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Format: Paperback
I was going to give this book two stars, one for the effort made by Harrison, and another so that I wouldn't look like a chump. I'll look like a chump, then.

I was happy to find Spilling Over hidden amongst the books I browsed at the bookstore. The art was cool. After purchasing and reading the book, however, the project as a whole made me a little nauseous--there was an abundant amount of egotism to swallow and a not-very-unique story told.

Some artists and some authors develop an overbearing ME on the success of their work, which then becomes rather unpalatable to some people. And, I feel like Harrison is guilty of that sin in Brave on the Rocks. It's like...get over it, already. Evolve, already. Brave is just more pages of the first book.

I don't mean to completely knock Harrison. It's that this art is just not -that- worthy. But, if you dig this style, and you simply want to look at more of the same, that's cool, too. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
Maybe the people who were bashing this book are the kind of people who don't care about self-discovery or self-realization. I don't think her intent was to save the world with "Brave on the Rocks" and it's a mistake that her books are sometimes in the self-help section at the bookstore-- I consider her books to be INSPIRATION and ART! These books are journals, people, and what else do you write about in your journal but yourself? There's so much beauty in her words and art, she makes you feel like getting out the old paintbrushes and writing your thoughts. That to me is a beautiful thing. The only criticism I have about this book is that she seemed to hold back her feelings a lot more, she didn't "Spill Open" as vulnerably as she did in her first book. But that is her perogative. Basically, like Sabrina said, we need more ORDINARY people writing books-- by being ourselves, we find out that we are all uniquely EXTRAORDINARY!
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