Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong

Jason Mulgrew, Author
Jason Mulgrew, Author Harper Perennial $13 (214p) ISBN 978-0-06-176665-7
Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-197843-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7566-2094-3
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Blogger Mulgrew, an Irish Catholic son of working-class South Philly, grew up in the early 1980s. In his irreverent, self-deprecating, but frequently funny first book, based on his blog, he revisits his childhood and adolescence. Following in the footsteps of his storytelling father, who hung out with other guys in dive bars, the author encountered (and makes somewhat cursory use of) characters like the local kleptomaniac, a neighbor’s teenaged uncle, who expanded on lessons in hustling previously laid down by a numbers-running grandfather, and the friend who launched further escapades in both entrepreneurship and juvenile pyromania. Mulgrew doesn’t dwell sentimentally on his parents’ rocky relationship, and in comparison to the seemingly endless run of adventures in ersatz jock-and-studhood, there’s relatively little about his mother or his siblings. Instead, the book takes readers deep into a traditional, working-class social world where sports, Jackass -type pranks, and loyalty reigned. True to the lad-lit form and content, the narrative is often downright crude, with a Maxim -article tone. (Mar.)

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