Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside, a big-hearted memoir told in three parts: about growing up in the wake of the destructive choices of an extremely unconventional mother.
Glen David Gold was raised rich, briefly, in southern California at the end of the go-go 1960s. But his father’s fortune disappears, his parents divorce, and Glen falls out of his well-curated life and into San Francisco at the epicenter of the Me Decade: the inimitable ’70s. Gold grows up with his mother, among con men and get-rich schemes. Then, one afternoon when he’s twelve, she moves to New York without telling him, leaving him to fend for himself. I Will Be Complete is the story of how Gold copes, honing a keen wit and learning how to fill in the emotional gaps: “I feel love and then it’s like I’m driving on black ice with no contact against the road.” He leads us though his early salvation at boarding school; his dream job at an independent bookstore in Los Angeles in 1983; a punk rock riot; a romance with a femme fatale to the soundtrack of R.E.M.; and his attempts to forge a career as a writer. Along the way, Gold becomes increasingly fascinated with his father’s self-described “cheerful amorality” and estranged from his mother, who lives with her soulmate, a man who threatens to kill her. Clear-eyed and heartbreaking, Gold’s story ultimately speaks to everyone who has struggled with the complexity of parental bonds by searching for – and finding – autonomy.
“An extraordinary account of an extraordinary life. Gold captures with stunning clarity the emotional chaos he grew up in, and that made him the brilliant writer he is now.” Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians
“I Will Be Complete is the best memoir I’ve read in years. It’s likely the best memoir published in years. Gold’s a novelist and this book reads like the best fiction. It’s exciting, beautiful, and clear-eyed in a way most memoirs aren’t. Oh, and you’ll never forget this charming, intelligent, unique narrator.” Darin Strauss, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner Half a Life and Chang and Eng
“Glen David Gold is one of the best storytellers working today. He could write about anything and make it gripping. As it turns out, he also has one hell of a story to tell.” Joseph Fink, co-author of Welcome to Night Vale
About the Author
GLEN DAVID GOLD is the author of Sunnyside and Carter Beats the Devil, which has been translated into fourteen languages. His short stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, Playboy, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.
Glen David Gold on PowellsBooks.Blog
I Will Be Complete
is a memoir in three parts, an inquest into the end of the relationship between mother and son. The first part, "The King of San Francisco," is about how my father made and lost a fortune; after the divorce, my mother and I moved to San Francisco, and when I was 12, I came home from school one day to find she’d moved to New York without telling me...