Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong

( 23 )

Overview

A memoir of startling insight, divine comedy, and irreversible, unconscionable stupidity

Fans of Jason Mulgrew's wildly popular blog know that everything really is wrong with him. The product of a raucous, not-just-semi-but-fully-dysfunctional Philadelphia family, Jason has seen it all—from Little League games of unspeakable horror to citywide parades ending in stab wounds; from hard-partying longshoremen fathers to feathered-hair, no-nonsense, kindhearted mothers; and from ...

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Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong

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Overview

A memoir of startling insight, divine comedy, and irreversible, unconscionable stupidity

Fans of Jason Mulgrew's wildly popular blog know that everything really is wrong with him. The product of a raucous, not-just-semi-but-fully-dysfunctional Philadelphia family, Jason has seen it all—from Little League games of unspeakable horror to citywide parades ending in stab wounds; from hard-partying longshoremen fathers to feathered-hair, no-nonsense, kindhearted mothers; and from conscience-crippling Catholic dogmas to the equally confounding religion of women. With chapter titles like "My Bird: Inadequacy and Redemption" (no, he is not referring to a parakeet) and "On the Relationship Between Genetics and Hustling," Everything Is Wrong with Me proves that, as Jason puts it, "writing is a fantastical exercise in manic depression"—but he never fails to ensure that laughter is part of the routine.

With echoes of Jean Shepherd transplanted to Philly in the eighties and nineties, this book is a must-read for every person who looks back wistfully on his or her childhood and family and wonders, "What were we thinking?"

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Editorial Reviews

Steve Hely
“The somewhat alarming, always interesting world inside Jason’s brain has now been strewn across the pages of a book. Godspeed, reader.”
Publishers Weekly
Blogger Mulgrew, an Irish Catholic son of working-class South Philly, grew up in the early 1980s. In his irreverent, self-deprecating, but frequently funny first book, based on his blog, he revisits his childhood and adolescence. Following in the footsteps of his storytelling father, who hung out with other guys in dive bars, the author encountered (and makes somewhat cursory use of) characters like the local kleptomaniac, a neighbor’s teenaged uncle, who expanded on lessons in hustling previously laid down by a numbers-running grandfather, and the friend who launched further escapades in both entrepreneurship and juvenile pyromania. Mulgrew doesn’t dwell sentimentally on his parents’ rocky relationship, and in comparison to the seemingly endless run of adventures in ersatz jock-and-studhood, there’s relatively little about his mother or his siblings. Instead, the book takes readers deep into a traditional, working-class social world where sports, Jackass-type pranks, and loyalty reigned. True to the lad-lit form and content, the narrative is often downright crude, with a Maxim-article tone. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Blogger and "Internet quasi-celebrity" Mulgrew delivers a bumptious memoir celebrating his wildly dysfunctional-but fun-childhood as a nerdy kid in a tough Philadelphia neighborhood. The author is the son of a macho, chain-smoking laborer who declined to stop partying even after suffering a broken neck from an ill-advised late-night dive into shallow water in one memorable anecdote. Mulgrew's world was characterized by bookies, casual violence and rampant alcoholism, but his tone is light, even celebratory, as he lovingly details the outrageous personalities of the larger-than-life characters who populated his gritty neighborhood. The author failed to excel at such locally exalted vocations as athletics or hell-raising, so he threw himself into more quiet pursuits like selling illegal fireworks and hustling at video-hockey tournaments. Mulgrew documents his struggles with Catholicism, Little League, attracting girls and maintaining respect in an entertainingly hapless fashion, but the narrative fails to cohere as a fully dimensional portrait or offer much insight into the social and family dynamics that engendered such goofy behavior. Ultimately it becomes just one thing after another-random fights, drinking binges, mysterious stab wounds, trips to jail. One comic set piece stands out: a Scotch bonnet pepper-eating tournament that leaves its participants writhing in agony, leaking mucous and begging for water and ice cream. Mulgrew includes many embarrassing family photos to buttress his remembrances, and the affection he feels toward his wayward subjects is palpable. However, the author's reflexively snarky, self-deprecating voice-typical of Internet quasi-celebrity bloggers-becomestiresome over the course of the book. Fitfully funny, long on snark, short on substance. Author events in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061766657
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 714,026
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Mulgrew

Jason Mulgrew is the New York Times bestselling author of Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong. He was named one of People's "50 Hottest Bachelors" (seriously). He lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fans of FX TV's IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA will love this book

    Jason Mulgrew has a popular blog entitled Everything is Wrong With Me: 30, Bipolar and Hungry. He writes humorously about his life and reading his posts about the NCAA tourney, hanging out in bars, living in NYC, it reminds you of pretty much most guys you know in that age group.

    Mulgrew is now a published author, which for the slacker that he describes himself as, is quite an accomplishment. Everything is Wrong Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong appeals to anyone who grew up in a (slightly) dysfunctional family, which would be, like, all of us.

    The photo on the cover is of Mulgrew as a young boy wearing a brown pinstriped suit, looking like he is ready to attend the Republican National Convention. Don't let the cover fool you (although you will laugh out loud at it!) There are many photos of Mulgrew and his family sprinkled throughout the book, it's like looking through a family photo album, with humorous asides from Mulgrew accompanying them.

    Mulgrew grew up in an Irish working class neighborhood in Philadelphia. His parents play a big role in this memoir, particularly his longshoreman father, who worked hard, drank hard and got into many fights. His father loomed large in his life, even though he didn't live with the family for extended periods. (And surprisingly, it wasn't because he was in jail.)

    Irish-Catholics will appreciate his description of his baptism party.
    The interpretation of "big Irish Catholic party" varies, but basically there's a prayer at the beginning and then a lot of drinking until people fall down. Also there's some crying and singing involved and usually one relative will try to punch another. Then comes the falling down. Welcome to every family christening, birthday party, graduation and wedding I've ever been to.


    Mulgrew tells stories of his childhood, many of the memories supplied by his Mom and Dad. Mulgrew uses footnotes as funny asides at the bottom of the pages to further explain the insanity. One of the funniest stories involves Mulgrew's scheme to sell fireworks not only to make some money, but to move up on the coolness scale. It's a genius idea, making good money until Mulgrew's partner, his pal David, decides to stop at home for a Lunchable and gets caught by his mom. It's the age-old story: a great career derailed by a Lunchable.

    The book is filled with usual guy stuff- guns, alcohol, trucks, girls, running from the cops. Its universality is its appeal, along with Mulgrew's genial style of conversational writing. It will make a funny audiobook.

    The best story of the book happens after Mulgrew has finally turned in his manuscript for the book after missing many deadlines. His father says to him, "Did I ever tell you how I was arrested for attempted murder?" The story that follows is fabulous, and it fits that his dad wouldn't tell him until the book was done.

    While this book isn't for everyone, it would make a good gift for your brother, your funny uncle, or anyone who likes FX TV's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    I am so sad for the author.

    This book is intended to be humorous, but instead I felt myself feeling sorry for the author. His childhood was terrible. If this book reflects all city life, then I am glad to live in the country. If this book did anything for me, it helped me be more grateful for my parents and the life they gave me. If you want a funny book, read Justin Halpern, his family life was absolutely hilarious. Thank you for writing this book and making me feel better about my life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Repetitive Humor

    The author is constantly breaking his narrative to tell the reader that he is amazed he actually wrote a book. His jokes are mildly funny the first time, and wear really thin as they get repeated over and over. The best passages are depictions of neighborhood characters in Philly, that evoke a certain time and place.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Sweet!

    I missed the first part, but the second is really good!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    The tradegy: Part 3- the encounter

    I never belived the legends of the Killer and his army. My father told them before he died. The fortress was huge and was surrounded with lasers." Great! Just great!" Jake said. I thought for a moment." Im good at gymnastics. Follow my lead." I ordered jumping over a laser. So i kept going on till i was at the end, Jake right behind me. Once we got in, we attacked the guards and stole their weapons. Then, we snuck into a huge room." Not so fast, surviviors!" A raspy voice shrieked pressing a button. None other than Killer." Killer! Ur such a coward!" I heard myself yell. He came over to me and smacked my face." Say that again, Sam!" He said." U-u know m-meeee?" I studdered. He ignored my question as Jake jumped in and slashed. He ended up in a trap.' Oh no.' I thought. Then, a minion unlocked our cages." Go!" He said. So we did. But i stayed and narrowed my eyes." Why won't u go?" Killer rasped." We have unfinished buisness." I growled letting my hair in my face." Yes, we do. Indeed, sister!" He shrieked ad ran at me. On impulse, I scarred his face with a dagger. He scurried up and reacted." Why ru killing everyone?" I asked. We both layed on the ground blood pouring." To pay." He said." To pay because of humiliating me. On Christmas Eve!" He yelled." All we did was play a little prank." I laughed helping him up. He nodded and hugged me." Im sorry." He whispered." I missed the old David." I said to my brother, smiling. Everything was back to normal. Well, almost everything. Jake waited for us outside then pulled me aside." Ru ok." He asked eyeing my wounds." Yeah." I lied." Well, it was a great adventure."" Yeah." I said. He smiled and kissed me. I watched him follow my brother as i gasped.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Review

    Kinda vague. Needs more detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Hilarious read!

    Hilarious read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Strange, to say the least

    Don't waste your time or money on this one - just take a pass, I should have.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Highly Entertaining

    I enjoy this author's perspective of his life. He portrays it from a sarcastic point of view, which is both honest and comical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Sorry I bought the book

    I guess you need a wierd sense of humor. I did not care for the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Save your money!

    The author repeatedly refers to himself as lazy and not a good writer. He's not kidding. It is disturbing to think that he was paid for this. Total waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Um

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Great book

    I bought this book because at 99 cents, what the hell? Well as it turns out it was a hell of a deal. Jason had me laughing or choked up at evey other page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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