Sean Wilsey Oh the Glory of It All

ISBN 13: 9781594200519

Oh the Glory of It All

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9781594200519: Oh the Glory of It All
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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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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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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780143036913: Oh the Glory of It All

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ISBN 10:  0143036912 ISBN 13:  9780143036913
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2006
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