Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
It's been a CRAZY reading week around my house. With work driving me up a wall (daily), my Mom getting surgery next week (sudden but outpatient), and the weather being less than ideal (rain, rain, go away), it's been a struggle to get things done, hence the lack of post yesterday as I finished reading today's spotlight title. Which brings me to today's post...
We're playing host to a stop along the TLC Book Tours promotion for a Memoir detailing the lives of two gentleman in the 70's and 80's in all their living colors. Ready to take a trip down someone else's memory lane? Ladies and gents, today's featured title is...
A Memoir of Howard & Art & the 70's & the 80's
About the book...
Brad Gooch arrived in New York in the 1970s, eager for artistic and personal freedom. Smash Cut is his bold and intimate memoir of this exhilarating time and place, complete with its cast of wild bohemians, celebrities, and budding artists, such as Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, and Madonna. At its center is his love affair with film director Howard Brookner, recreated from fragments of memory and a crosshatch of conflicting emotions, from innocent romance to bleak despair.
Gooch and Brookner’s intense relationship is challenged by sex and drugs, and by a culture of extreme experimentation. As both men try to reconcile love and fidelity with the irresistible desire to sample the legendary abandon of the era, they live together and apart. Gooch works briefly as a model in Milan, then returns to the city and discovers his vocation as a writer.
Brookner falls ill with a mysterious virus that soon has a terrifying name: AIDS. And the story, and life in the city, is suddenly overshadowed by this new plague that will ravage a generation and transform the creative world. Gooch charts the progress of Brookner through his illness, and writes unforgettably about endings: of a great talent, a passionate love affair, and an incandescent era.
I always view Memoirs in a different light because really, you can't discount someone's experiences; it was THEIR LIFE! So for the glimpses into the author's private world, the glitz and glam, the ability to view the coming out of America from someone that was there at the time, I am thankful. It was great to step inside life in New York during the era of free love and self discovery. I even had a chance to visit my own hometown which happened to be where Brad's parents lived (small world!). There are a host of characters introduced with our two leads set apart from the pack so there's no mistaking from whom the memories come or with whom they are shared. For the life of me though, I couldn't get into it until the main characters were checking out.
I know, it sounds extraordinarily morbid but I think for what I was expecting to get from the book, this part came closest. Up until that very real moment, spotted with multiple hospital stays, lessening of the quality of life, and saying goodbyes to people never imagined, for me it was simply a look at the entertainment industry of yesterday with a whole lot of name dropping, gratuitous sex, and drug experimentation.
So, I'll keep this short and semi-sweet; while it may be for some readers, unfortunately it wasn't for this reader. Does that mean I recommend you bypass it for something else? Not at all! I simply give you my viewpoint on the experience I had with an invitation for you to decide for yourself. Perhaps it'll be your next great read? Or you know someone who's looking for something just like it? Whatever you choose, I wish you happy reading!
About the author....
Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biographies City Poet and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.
Find out more about Brad at his website.
Special thanks to Trish and Jen at TLC Book Tours for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, THE ENTIRE TOUR, the publisher, the author, or any other flights of fancy you may seek to follow, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title was just released April 14, 2015 via Harper, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!