Stock Image

Oh the Glory of It All

Wilsey, Sean

ISBN 10: 1594200513 / ISBN 13: 9781594200519
Published by Penguin Press HC, The, 2005
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
Buy Used
Price: US$ 50.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 6.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

Offered By

SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS
SAN MARCOS, CA, U.S.A.

2-star rating

AbeBooks Seller Since December 11, 1999

About this Item

1594200513 Dj blurbs by Dave Eggers, Armistead Maupin, & George Saunders. Bookseller Inventory # 007366

Quantity Available: 1

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Oh the Glory of It All

Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Cover art my vary.

"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.

Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are."

When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy.

With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)-Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion.

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

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We specialize in Modern First Editions, Plays, Books on the Theatre and Cinema, Ethinc American Literature and Social Studies, Gay & Lesbian Literature and Social Studies, etc. We also published Limited-Signed Books, printed by letterpress and bound by hand, of notable American & international authors that include Paul Bowles, John Cheever, Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Christopher Isherwood, James Merrill, V.S. Naipaul, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

ALL BOOKS ARE FIRST EDITIONS AND IN FINE CONDITION UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. ALL DUST JACKETS, AND THEIR CONDITIONS, ARE INDICATED WHEN PRESENT. ANY BOOK RETURNED MUST BE WITHIN 10 DAYS OF RECEIPT. CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS WILL BE CHARGED APPLICABLE SALES TAX. DOMESTIC MEDIA MAIL POSTAGE & HANDLING FEES ARE AS FOLLOWS: $6 FOR THE FIRST BOOK ORDERED AND $2 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL BOOK. INSURANCE IS EXTRA. ORDERS SENT UNINSURED ARE SENT AT THE RECIPIENT'S RISK. ALL DOMESTIC SHIPPED BOOKS WILL BE SENT WI...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express