From one of the most ferociously brilliant and distinctive young voices in literary nonfiction: a debut shot through with violence, comedy, and feverish intensity that takes us on an odyssey into an American netherworld, exposing a raw personal journey along the way.
Kent Russell's essays take him to society's ragged edges - the places where savagery and civilization collide. Perhaps among the misfits and the misunderstood - the losers, the hardcore, the alarming, the crazed, the downright frightening - he can find a way to reconcile his uneasy adult desires and his deepest childhood demons.
He goes 'horrorcore' at a four-day music festival in Illinois. He spends a long weekend getting drunk with a man who claims he has conditioned his body to withstand the bites of the most venomous snakes. He finds a castaway on a tiny atoll off the coast of Australia. He explores the Amish obsession with baseball.
Bristling with violence, tragedy and humour and wit, I Am Sorry To Think I Have Raised A Timid Son is a raw personal journey and an unforgettable portrait of masculinity in our time, by a ferociously brilliant and distinctive young voice in literary nonfiction.
Kent Russell is one of the most excitingly gifted young non-fiction writers to have appeared in recent memory - John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
For those of us who've been missing Hunter Thompson lately, good news: I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son is as close as we're going to get to his second coming when it comes to full-on gonzo passionate observation and self-loathing transmuted into social criticism. Its larger subject is perhaps the most toxic and entertaining of all of the can-do malevolences abroad in our land-American masculinity-but its more intimate and wrenching subject is that of one father and son, similarly self-sabotaging, masters of hurtful apathy, talkers who reject the talking cure, each shipwrecked with their shame. If you're looking for what's funny and smart and fierce and devoted to the shrinking hope that we can all even still perhaps cultivate virtue, stop right here. - Jim Shepard
an exhilarating collection of essays grapples with modern American masculinity ... Russell writes in an endearing voice that can be at once wryly observant and objectively fair. - Financial Times
What really makes Russell stand apart is the quality of his sentences, which are luxurious, clever .. The style is efficient and confident, mixing registers with authority. - Daily Telegraph