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A founding editor of McSweeney's documents his experiences of growing up in an eccentric society family, which was marked by his father's infidelity with his mother's best friend, his mother's post-depression international travels, their encounters with numerous political figures, and more.
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"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 DavisFrom 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."
"[An] irreverent and remarkably candid memoir about growing up in wealthy eighties San Francisco . . . rollicking, ruthless . . . ultimately generous-hearted."
"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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Book Description Penguin Press HC, The, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1594200513
Book Description Penguin Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. HAND SIGNED ON THE FULL TITLE PAGE OF THIS NEW 1ST/1ST. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 002834
Book Description Condition: Brand New. New. Seller Inventory # A9908
Book Description Penguin Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. New hardcover. Never read. Beautiful copy of book and dust jacket. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. 0505 on bottom inside jacket flap. Collector's Copy. Seller Inventory # 001150
Book Description Penguin Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New York: Penguin . First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/new, very fine/very fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy, SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Comes with protective mylar dust jacket wrapper. The book was issued with white and black dust jackets. This is the primarily white dust jacket. 0.0. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # clean12
Book Description Penguin Press HC, The. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1594200513 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0720392