House of Prayer No. 2

Mark Richard, Doubleday/Talese, $23.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-51302-9
In this fascinating memoir, novelist Richard (Fishboy) details a life that led him from a lurid South to the gray streets of New York City. Born with deformities that left him nearly crippled, Richard suffered medical procedures that would have done a medieval torturer proud. Richard's status as a "special child" (it was also believed he was mentally handicapped) meant that he was further marginalized. As an outsider, Richard meets bizarre characters and finds himself in increasingly bizarre situations. As he dives into a world of crime and bad behavior, Richard hones his talent as a writer, with increasing success. Richard's flattened narrative tone suits the extreme nature of his material. He successfully weaves into his memoir recurring characters like his father, who slowly come into focus. As Richard gets older, however, characters and events blur in a mess of love affairs and crimes, shipwrecks and drug deals, and celebrities. Throughout, there's a grace to even his darkest tales. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 113 pages - 978-0-385-53406-2
Paperback - 201 pages - 978-1-4000-7777-9
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