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Shit Magnet: One Man's Miraculous Ability to Absorb the World's Guilt Paperback – May 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is very, very hard to read and almost impossible to enjoy. There are sections, like the chapter about the British youths who committed suicide, that rank as the best stuff Jim Goad has ever written.
Amid all the sadness, there are some eye-opening observations about social hypocrisy, especially the way that disputes between males and females are viewed.
I'm waiting for his Gigantic Sex book. It looks like he's learned to have fun since this last book.
He's funny. He's poignant. His social criticism is cutting, accurate and iconoclastic. But by his own admission, he is a severely screwed-up individual. This book is his paean to the pitch black comedy psychodrama of his life. In a world where every loser rich boy wishes they were a street-wise badass, Goad is a street-wise badass... and carries all the scars that that life entails. For this reason, this is one of my favorite books of all time.
This book succeeds because it gets the tone exactly right. Goad overturns every single rock in his past, but does so without trying to wring sympathy out of the reader. He talks about how his parents beat him, his homosexual dalliances when he was a teenager, and his marital infidelities, leading up to his ill-fated affair with Anne Ryan, the psychotic groupie who got him jailed. But the remarkable thing is that he doesn't try to deflect blame or run from his past. Goad fesses up to his responsibility in these events with wit and vitriol.
Like his other writing, this book is a breeze to read, as Goad rattles off sentences like a Satanic street preacher on meth. When I first read this book years ago, I blew through it in one weekend, the book's writing was so fluid and hilarious. My biggest complaint is the tonal shift in Chapter Three, "A Bad Seed Takes Root," which is written from the perspective of a little kid. It's appropriate, given that it's about Goad's twisted youth, but it's a little creepy when contrasted with the rest of the book.
As Goad insists on the back cover, this isn't a pure memoir insomuch as it's about guilt; specifically, the guilt that's resulted in Goad's writing being blamed for triple suicides and White House shootings.Read more ›
All through the convoluted and often ugly story which this book tells-and quite competently-Goad realizes he's doing the wrong thing, for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time, and in the wrong place. Yet Goad-who is obviously intelligent, driven, physically fit, and obsessively introspective-seems doomed by his own compulsion to follow a path he realizes is going to cause him serious trouble. And, it does.
Goad winds up in the Oregon correctional system, one of the few in the country where whites are not a minority, and serves his time without any life-threatening incidents: boredom, frustration, and petty annoyances are the order of the day, not shankings and rape. But Goad clearly does not belong in prison, and it's clear-not just to Goad, but to any rational observer-that Goad is far more victim than perpetrator here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
meh. mildly entertaining, but i could tell i would not like this guy ; pPublished 16 months ago by rachbick
Jim Goad.... I am not even sure what else to say...if you are willing to read this you are also probably going to love it...or hate it...whichever.Published 23 months ago by victoriao1205
When I first read this book about 7 years ago my favorite-author allegiance changed from Tom Robbins to Jim Goad. You should buy this and all of his stuff. Pronto.Published on July 29, 2010 by Agni T. Kudra
Jim Goad is a smart fella. He knows it, and he wants YOU to know it, too. He feels superior to you because you are not as smart as he is, can't write as well as he can, and... Read morePublished on November 1, 2008 by C. Brandt
Great first book, The RM was great, but this is just the half-hearted ranting of an overrated crybaby. Read morePublished on May 19, 2004 by pill freeman
In SH*T MAGNET, Goad uses personal anedotes as catalysts for ranting about various strains of hypocrisy. Read morePublished on May 6, 2004 by Inspector2211
Goad is an honest man, beneath the many layers of mean spirited sarcasm (God bless you, Jim). As such, He's niether a hero nor a victim, as many autobiographers tend to paint... Read morePublished on May 6, 2004 by Preston Huey