James Brown (2003) The "Kennedy curse" looks like a garden-variety hex compared with the dysfunction passed down among Brown's alcoholic clan. When the acclaimed "Lucky Town" novelist was… 2003-09-16
Book Review

James Brown (2003)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Sep 16, 2003

The ''Kennedy curse'' looks like a garden-variety hex compared with the dysfunction passed down among Brown's alcoholic clan. When the acclaimed ''Lucky Town'' novelist was 5, his embezzling mom dragged him along to an arson; both his siblings committed suicide in middle age; Brown himself abandoned his wife, kids, and college English students for days to binge on booze and meth. If that's not bleak enough, consider this memoir's really depressing scenes... Hollywood script meetings. It's all riveting and self-pitiless, but two passages are priceless: a devastating imagining of the post-recovery shame that led his sister to dive into the bone-dry L.A. River, and his nightmarishly funny battle of wills with a potbellied pig that was supposed to salvage his marriage but instead helped demolish it.

Originally posted Sep 19, 2003 Published in issue #729 Sep 19, 2003 Order article reprints