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  1. 9.6 hrs • 4/14/2015 • Unabridged

    In a narrative that can be read as both a magnificent act of literary mythmaking and a howl of filial despair, Kent Russell gives us a haunting and unforgettable portrait of an America—and a paradigm of American malehood—we have never before seen. Locked in battle with both his adult appetites and his most private childhood demons, Kent Russell hungers for immersive experience and revelation, and his essays take us to society’s ragged edges, the junctures between savagery and civilization. He pitches a tent at an annual four-day music festival in Illinois, among the misunderstood, thick-as-thieves fans who self-identify as Juggalos. He treks to the end of the continent to visit a legendary hockey enforcer, the granddaddy of all tough guys, to see how he’s preparing for his last foe: obsolescence. He spends a long weekend getting drunk with a self-immunizer who is willing to prove that he has conditioned his body to withstand the bites of the most venomous snakes. And in the piercing interstitial meditations between these essays, Russell introduces us to his own raging and inimitable forebears. Blistering and deeply personal, I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son records Russell’s quest to understand, through his journalistic subjects, his own appetites and urges, his persistent alienation, and, above all, his knotty, volatile, vital relationship with his father.

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    I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russell

    I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son

    9.6 hrs • 4/14/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 5.8 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    Novelist and critic Dale Peck’s latest work—part memoir, part extended essay—is a foray into what the author calls “the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic,” i.e., the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronic manageable illness. Reminiscent of Joan Didion’s The White Album and Kurt Vonnegut’s Palm Sunday, Visions and Revisions is a sweeping, collage-style portrait of a tumultuous era. Moving seamlessly from the lyrical to the analytical to the reportorial, Peck’s story takes readers from the serial killings of gay men in New York, London, and Milwaukee, through Peck’s first loves upon coming out of the closet, to the transformation of LGBT people from marginal, idealistic fighters to their present place in a world of widespread, if fraught, mainstream acceptance. The narrative pays particular attention to the words and deeds of AIDS activists, offering a street-level portrait of ACT UP with considerations of AIDS-centered fiction and criticism of the era, as well as intimate, sometimes elegiac portraits of artists, activists, and HIV-positive people Peck knew. Peck’s fiery rhetoric against a government that sat on its hands for the first several years of the epidemic is tinged with the idealism of a young gay man discovering his political, artistic, and sexual identity. The result is a visionary and indispensable work from one of America’s most brilliant and controversial authors.

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    Visions and Revisions

    5.8 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
    Download
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