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Junior: A Novelby Macaulay Culkin
Synopses & Reviews
Junior would like to get a few things off his chest.
He does not know how to write a book. (Except [maybe] for this one.) He does not like books with introductions. (So this book has six of them.) His therapist says he has issues with closure. (Granted, this book has seven endings.) This is not a novel. (Everything in it is entirely true — except for the large portions that are completely fictional.) And finally, Junior has no issues with his father. (Nope, really, not a single one.)
In a dizzying kaleidoscope of words and images, actor and writer Macauley Culkin takes readers on a twisted tour to the darkest corners of his fertile imagination. Part memoir, part rant, part comedic tour de force, Junior is full of the hard-won wisdom of Culkin's quest to come to terms with the awesome pressures of childhood mega-stardom and family dysfunction. He understands that "having fun and being happy are two totally different things," yet at the same time he warns, "the end of the world is coming — and I'm going to have unfinished business." Searingly honest and brain-teasingly inventive, Junior is breathtaking proof that Culkin has found his own utterly original voice.
"This self-indulgently infantile book is a novel in only the loosest sense: it looks and reads more like a book-length zine. Amid quizzes, comics, poetry, journal entries, lists (one to-do: 'Pump my own gas') and bits of narrative, child star Culkin, through the persona of Junior, tackles the emotional fallout from his years struggling under the parenting — and, inseparably, the career management — of an abusive father. Though Culkin protests that Junior the character is not Culkin the author, the line seems pretty thin. Early on, Junior notes that he's 'not a writer,' and few readers will argue. But as a calculated piece of celebrity implosion, the book is weirdly compelling. Passages dealing directly with the father are uniformly powerful: smart and tragic. Unfortunately, this rich central conflict gets buried beneath interminable bellyaching over the writing process, half-baked philosophical musing and go-nowhere overtures to a woman who no longer loves him. Of all the ironies Culkin tries to engage (as when overgrown rich kid Junior asks, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have a place in the country like we talked about?'), the book's biggest is that it's best when it sticks with Daddy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Culkin has managed to lower the already low bar set for celebrity fiction....Filled with jokes lacking wit, introspection devoid of insight, poetry made of nothing, this is a work frustratingly short on substance. Makes Ethan Hawke read like Philip Roth." Kirkus Reviews
"Although Junior contains enough morbid moments to qualify as a guilty pleasure, you'll ultimately feel cheated by its lack of cohesion. (Grade: C-)" Entertainment Weekly
In a dizzying kaleidoscope of words and images, Culkin takes readers on a twisted tour to the darkest corners of his fertile imagination. Part memoir, part rant, part comedic tour-de-force, Junior is full of the hard-won wisdom of Culkin's quest to come to terms with the awesome pressures of childhood mega-stardom and family dysfunction.
About the Author
Twenty-five-year-old Macauley Culkin gained fame as one of the best known child actors of all time. He's appeared in 20 films, including the Home Alone series, Uncle Buck, Richie Rich, Party Monster, and most recently Saved. He lives in New York City. This is his first book.
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