Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Still Life With Brass Pole by Craig Machen

ISBN #: 978-1-4610-8900-1
Page Count: 269
Copyright: 2011

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Craig is 16 when he returns from a drug-fueled visit with his dad in Miami to find his mom leaving town with her 23 year-old boyfriend.

In the same moment, his dreams of settling down with his pregnant girlfriend are dashed when she is moved off to Texas by her parents.  Left alone in small-town Oklahoma, he embarks on a deranged, cross-country quest for a family of his own.

Mandy's Review:


For some reason, the way the title's wording is stylized reminds me of an old movie marquis.

Other than that, I'm not sure what to think about the cover.  Seeing the shadow figure of a pole dancer will either repel people from reading this book or make them curious enough to read it.


Written as a memoir, this is certainly not a book for young adults or children.  As most memoirs are, this book tells about the author's misspent youth as a juvenile delinquent involving drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and thievery stemming from an un-nurturing family life.

The author relives, often in vivid detail, many sexual, violent and troubling episodes that shaped the person he has become.

Main Characters

Craig - Author and story-teller - Craig definitely has a wicked, twisted sense of humor as he recants the tales of his youth.  Throughout the book, he didn't really seem to have a lot of willpower or motivation, unless it was to do something that wasn't good for him.

Carol - Craig's mom - This woman is so delusional and stuck in the past that there's no hope for her recovery.  She remains purposefully oblivious to anyone or anything that threatens her delusions of grandeur.


I do like Craig's writing style.  The way the book was written kept you interested, which caused it to be a quick read.  However, due to the language, sexual and precarious situations, I would not recommend this to just any reader.  As a matter of fact, I may even caution you to read this book at your own risk.

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