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Lunatic Heroes Paperback – August 31, 2012
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By C. Anthony Martnetti
In the introduction to Lunatic Heroes by C. Anthony Martignetti, singer/songwriter/musician/rockstar Amanda Palmer writes, "Anthony is a therapist, and a good listener."
That succinct characterization, included in a moving introduction about her lifelong relationship with Martignetti, whom she has known as a "mentor," "guru," [and] "best friend" since she was nine years old, describes in accurate and deliberate understatement the narrative voice of this powerful storyteller in his book, Lunatic Heroes. The title, which refers to his boyhood family, in reality, of course, describes all of us who suffer as fellow captives in the Human Condition.
This collection of stories both long and short amounts to a memoir of Martignetti's youth, growing up in the outskirts of Boston amid his Italian-American forebears. A sensitive boy who often felt isolated and outcast, his innate discomfort and alienation was reflected in early habits of nail-biting, self-afflicted hickeys, and a general resistance to most of the food his family routinely ate, "including, but not limited to: whole-roasted goat head ... pigs' feet, congealed blood pie, baby cow stomachs ... [and] "[g]arlic, garlic, and more garlic, garlic out your butt." As a result he was routinely insulted and beaten by his narcissistic mother, who would at other times smother him in love he craved, but whose mood would rarely last the day without including a dark turn. "Home was the place of love's promise," Martignetti observes, "and also the place where the wounds of love churned.Read more ›
I read "Lunatic Heroes" not really understanding what I was getting into. I ordered this book and his next book through an offer on his website. I know of him through Amanda Palmer who writes about her relationship with him as her mentor and friend in her book and she also writes the preface of Lunatic Heroes.
The book is a series of stories from Martignetti's childhood with all of the many faceted characters that played roles in his personal life growing up. He pulls no punches in allowing us to see these characters through the eyes of a young boy at a time when life appeared more peaceful than it actually was. Appearances were paramount in the 1950's and the reader is met head on in this matter by his choice of cover photo. The theme of appearances weighs heavy on the young Martignetti and we get a unique view of this from a gifted writer who is brave enough to show us how this weight impacted his world as a child in a candid and charming manner.
It wasn't long before the stories of Martignetti's childhood had me enthralled. He is a gifted storyteller and has a way of capturing the tone of the time of his youth without relying on popular culture references but leaning into a common point of association for any child growing up using his acute memory of what these experiences felt like as a boy. This allows for a rich resonance in the stories that will appeal to anyone who has any recollection of their childhood at all. This is not a jolly romp but a rich mining; a charming and sometimes humorous yet courageous telling of one boy's rich, chaotic and dysfunctional youth. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved reading these childhood stories from my old therapist. No wonder none of my stories shocked him!Published 1 month ago by Eric M Dragsbaek
I was very surprised by how truly honest and by how truly well written this collection of personal stories was. Read morePublished 2 months ago by OCindyOCindy
I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea who Anthony Martignetti was before Neil Gaiman recommended his memoir. Read morePublished 12 months ago by CMC81
I borrowed "Lunatic Heroes" from the library and ate it whole in one day. Seriously, in a few hours. I wish I had read this before he died (rest his soul), but I had not. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Katherine Tildes
Came pretty quickly, in perfect condition, good price! Thanks!Published 13 months ago by zephyr taurel
C. Anthony Martignetti does not hold back in the retelling of some of his childhood, the weird, the uncomfortable, the funny, the hurtful, the embarrassing, it's all here. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mary
Looking into a mirror and seeing I'm not alone.
I wonder how many of us would be able to crack open our minds and hearts and let the contents come pouring out on the pages of a book for the world to read. Read morePublished on April 28, 2014 by APLP