Synopses & Reviews
From one of the most ferociously brilliant young voices in literary non fiction: a debut of extraordinary force that interrogates a particular paradigm of American masculinity, capturing with discomforting intimacy and precision the landscape of the misfit.
Kent Russell's essays take us to society's ragged edges, the junctures between savagery and civilization, where solitary, philosophical, troubled men yearn for a more heightened form of existence. We meet a self-immunizer in small-town Wisconsin who has conditioned his body to withstand the bites of the most venomous snakes; NHL enforcers who build their careers on violence and intimidation; a former mogul who has retreated to a crocodile-infested island off the Australian coast; the fans at a three-day music festival ominously called the Gathering; Amish baseball players who push the limits of their cultural restraints; and, perhaps most memorably, Russell's own oddball, inimitable forebears. I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son, at once blistering and deeply personal, records Russell's quest to understand, through his journalistic subjects, his own appetites and urges, his childhood demons and persistent alienation, and, above all, his knotty, volatile, vital relationship with his father.
Combining the fierce intellect and humane wit of John Jeremiah Sullivan and David Foster Wallace with a dark, unfettered sensibility all his own, Russell gives us a haunting and unforgettable portrait of America.
About the Author
KENT RUSSELL's essays have appeared in The New Republic, Harper's, GQ, n+1, The Believer, and Grantland.