Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I want it Wednesday

This has to be one of the most disturbing true stories I have ever heard.

A 14 year old teen decides he is going to set himself on fire and kill himself. But, there's a draw back. He lives.

Here is a summary:
On the sixteenth page of this incisive memoir, eighth-grader Brent Runyon drenches his bathrobe with gasoline and ("Should I do it? Yes.") sets himself on fire. The burns cover 85 percent of his body and require six months of painful skin grafts and equally invasive mental-health rehabilitation. From the beginning, readers are immersed in the mind of 14-year-old Brent as he struggles to heal body and mind, his experiences given devastating immediacy in a first-person, present-tense voice that judders from uncensored teenage attitude and poignant anxiety (he worries about getting hard-ons during physical therapy) to little-boy sweetness. And throughout is anguish over his suicide attempt and its impact on his family: "I have this guilt feeling all over me, like oil on one of those birds in Alaska."

1 comment:

Mezzowriter said...

Interestingly, I just posted a review on this one a couple of days ago. It's really a great example of memoir, especially if your state has standards requiring the teaching of memoir at certain ages. I know Michigan does.

One of my favorites. :)