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9780143057635

Oh the Glory of It All

Wilsey, Sean

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9780143057635: Oh the Glory of It All

In what will be the most talked-about memoir of the year, a founding editor of McSweeney's gives us his wise, electric, and painfully funny true story.

Unabridged CD - 17 CDs, 21 hours

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Review:

"A memoir, at its heart, is written in order to figure out who you are," writes Sean Wilsey, and indeed, Oh the Glory of it All is compelling proof of his exhaustive personal quest. It's no surprise that as a kid in the '80s, Wilsey found similarities between his own life and his beloved Lord of the Rings and Star Wars--his journey was fraught with unnerving characters too.

Wilsey's father was a distant, wealthy man who used a helicopter when a moped would do and whose mandates included squeegeeing the stall after every shower. Much of Wilsey's youth was spent as subservient to, or rebelling against this imposing man. But the maternal figures in Wilsey's childhood were no less affecting. His mother, a San Francisco society butterfly turned globe-trotting peace promoter, seemed to behave only in extremes--either trying to convince young Sean to commit suicide with her, or arranging impromptu meetings with the Pope and Mikhail Gorbachev. And Dede, his demon of a stepmother, would have made the Brothers Grimm shiver.

As always with memoirs one must take expansive sections of recalled dialogue with a grain of salt, but Wilsey's short, unflinching sentences keep his outlandish story moving too quickly for much quibbling. In the end, Wilsey says, "It took the unlikely combination of the three of them--mother, father, stepmother--to make me who I am." It's a fairly basic conclusion after 479 pages of turning every stone, but it's also one that renders his story--more than shocking or glorious--human. --Brangien Davis

From the Back Cover:

"A memoir that announces the debut of a remarkably gifted, daring and, yes, very funny, writer."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"The cliché ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ may well have been coined to describe Sean Wilsey’s wild, wise, and whip-smart memoir."
—Elle

"[An] irreverent and remarkably candid memoir about growing up in wealthy eighties San Francisco . . . rollicking, ruthless . . . ultimately generous-hearted."
—Vogue

"A vivid mix of brio, self-awareness and sophistication . . . writing well is indeed the best revenge."
—The New York Times Book Review

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Wilsey, Sean Author
Published by Penguin Audio (2005)
ISBN 10: 0143057634 ISBN 13: 9780143057635
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