Memoirs like this make me realize how much I do not know about the world. I had never heard of the band called The Toxic Airborne Event, Mikel Jollett or the Syanon cult. This was an interesting look into all of these topics and what shaped Jollett’s life as he grew up under such horrible circumstances. I also want to warn readers that this novel includes topics on mental disorders, cult life, drug use, alcoholism, physical abuse, poverty, child neglect and has a good bit of foul language. This novel also shows strength, survival, hope, love and slowly overcoming hellish scenarios that some people never recover from.
I had the opportunity to review this novel as an audiobook. Jollett is the narrator for his story and though I always enjoy personal narrations from author’s I did feel this one lacked emotion and was read in a dry voice. It was not easy to discern feeling and as a listener this took away from areas that deserved to be felt by readers everywhere. This novel is meant to be “lived” and has so much lyrical prose among the harsh realities that I was slightly disheartened this did not come through.
For lovers of memoirs this would be a novel to add to your shelf. Though it does not include much historical information it shows Jollett’s life struggle in vivid color. There is a lot of information to take in surrounding conversations, inner thoughts or in depth little details. For some this may be too much information and drag but for others this will paint the theme of perseverance in intricate detail.