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You Are a Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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“Telling Mike Edison he was a complete disappointment was just the first salvo of his father’s deathbed diatribe. In the same way this list of complaints is both amusing and profoundly upsetting, Edison’s memoir about his troubled relationship with his straitlaced dad is a work of humor and pathos. A musician and former editor and publisher of High Times magazine, Edison never fit the constraining mold that his parents considered the only path to success. After his father’s parting words put the capstone on a relationship that had been contentious for decades, Edison looks to discover where exactly he and his father got so off-track. Uncovering the truth takes Edison beyond even his childhood to the formation of his parents’ belief systems as part of a generation that valued conformity above almost all else. Edison is a fine storyteller, quick and witty, who gives the heavy stuff appropriate weight without letting it pull down the lighter moments, like his father’s memorable outburst over a meatball pizza. Edison’s soul-searching creates a moving tribute to being oneself.” —Booklist
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Top Customer Reviews
Not to spoil the ending (or is it the beginning?) but when your dad's dying words to you are, "You are a complete disappointment," you either have to laugh or cry. Edison does both in this book and you will too. It's moving, funny, infuriating (sorry, Mr. Edison, but I have/had a bone to pick with both your parents, though your mother had far more redeeming qualities than your dad), sad and happy. It's an entertaining tale of redemption via humor and a good attitude without any of the Oprah schmaltz you might expect. I can't recommend this book highly enough—funhavers, aging hipsters, wine aficionados, book lovers, rock stars, and wrestling fans, this book is for you. And everyone else as well.
"I finished DISAPPOINTMENT last night. It got richer and deeper (while never losing it's bawdy sense of humor) as it went on. His purposely non-literary style made for an even deeper impression. I needed the humor but it was the man's steadfastness and righteousness that was the real take-away. I'm sure there were many aspects of Edison's life that reminded you of your upbringing—an adventurous kid surrounded by piles of dirt left over from the ruts that most people dig for themselves. I can see what a threat you might have been to your immediate community members.
Thanks. It was an excellent read. Sara is next and then I'll send it to Kathleen. Triple trouble!"
BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT, YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!
How can a book about an abusive father-son relationship be so damn funny? Is it because it's happening to someone else? Or is it because Edison's irreverent style charts such new territory on the journey of self-healing? (I challenge you to find any comparable memoir that so touchingly deploys professional wrestling and cocaine-covered erections as motifs in transcending painful family conflict).
Edison's light touch compassionately explores the complexities of his dad's chronic asshole-ism, and ultimately illuminates the struggle to be an individual in a "square world." Snorting mystery dust off a frisbee at a David Bowie concert is a transcendent moment in the effervescent, lifelong countercultural spree that elevates Edison above the morbid perfectionism of his family of origin.
A genuine masterpiece of wit and heart, this book is a must for any Edison fan and - for new readers - will be a gateway drug into his rich and colorful world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First off, it proved that I could still get so possessed by a story that I practically inhaled it.Read more