Isabella Biedenharn
March 27, 2015 AT 09:47 PM EDT

I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kent Russell
publisher
Knopf
genre
Essays

We gave it an A-

In his part-essay, part-memoir hybrid, Russell embeds with the dregs of humanity at a Gathering of the Juggalos, follows a man who has immunized himself to deadly snake venom, and delves into his personal obsession with the guts and gore of horror films. Pausing for deep breaths between these essays, Russell replays scenes with his peculiar (but entertaining) father, a Vietnam vet, exploring the ways the Russell men reflect and repel each other. While some of these dispatches from the fringes of masculinity lack the verve of others, Russell’s self-deprecating, bitterly funny voice is compelling throughout. John Jeremiah Sullivan should watch his back. A–

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