Another Bullshit Night in Suck City Paperback
by Nick Flynn
Nick Flynn met his father when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston.
As a teenager he'd received letters from this mystery father - self-proclaimed poet (and greatest American novelist since Mark Twain), descendant of the Romanov dynasty, alcoholic, and con-man doing time for bank robbery - but there had been no contact.
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (a phrase Flynn senior uses to describe his life on the streets) tells the story of the eerie trajectory that led Nick and his father into that homeless shelter, onto those streets, and finally to each other.
With a raw authenticity, telling honesty and a dark but necessary humour, Nick Flynn's memoir breathes new life and vigour into the form.
In passionate and playful prose Another Bullshit Night in Suck City illuminates the emotional and physical consequences of a relationship between father and son that exists, if at all, in a void.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 17/02/2005
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780571214082
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by Jebbie74
Unlike the other reveiwers, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from the enthralling reviews I had read, but I found I didn't like a lot of the people porrayed in this bio/memoir.
Review by arouse77
this is a memoir of family dysfunction, alcoholism, and pain that contains a glimpse of the inner workings of one of Boston's social outreach programs. Nick Flynn tells a meandering story about his life and relationship (or lack thereof) with his father; an inveterate drunkard, reprobate, and flim-flam man. Nick stumbles through a tumultuous childhood and adolescence and into a job working at a homeless shelter in downtown Boston. during the course of his work he discovers his father is living "outside" and encounters him in a professional capacity.even as he attempts to help his father in the way he would help any other client, he reflects on all the reasons why his father doesn't rank any higher in his estimation or regard than any other homeless alcoholic client in need of social services. meanwhile struggling with his own addictions and their reprecussions in his life.while i can understand psycho-social theories behind Flynn's distance from his father, and agree that he could really do nothng else, it doesn't make for a story with the power to engage the reader emotionally.the result feels self-indulgent, unredeeming, and without the sensitivity to evoke the sympathetic response which makes any memoir truly compelling.
Review by eleanor_eader
Nick Flynn grew up not knowing his father, except through a series of self-aggrandising letters, claims of artistic written genius and altruism. The lies are his father’s legacy. His mother’s is her suicide, and the father figures who have drifted in and out of their lives. Later, he ends up working at a Boston shelter, where he inevitably comes into increasing contact with his homeless father, a situation he seems to find both appalling and compelling.Set in Boston, this book is disjointed and depressing, even damaging; a perfect representation of the condition of homelessness. I didn’t enjoy it, but I’m pretty sure the reader isn’t meant to. The fact that the family gift for storytelling amounted to something is less a redemption than a curious ain’t-life-odd addendum to a round of alcoholism and drug use, the by-product of a reluctant quest to understand and describe a family history.
Review by KymmAC
Can hardly tell if it's good on its own. All the references to Scituate blew me away, right back into childhood and home. Also parts of Boston, while not direct references are part of my makeup. The Pine Street Inn and all those years of ads and donation campaigns, the era and my own awareness of homeless people. Even the specific time period was mine, even when I wasn't even there. Weird. Excellent read. Now will have to reread King Lear.