Book Review: Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett

Things the Grandchildren Should Know

Some memoirs are written in a style that reads like a conversation. You’re left feeling like someone started in on this incredible story and just when you’re about to interrupt, the person across from you answers the question you were about to ask. You’re drawn in. You’re conversing. You’re exchanging ideas with the written page.

Other memoirs read like you’re being talked to instead of talking with the author. They’re telling their story and you’re going to sit there and listen. And like it. Damn it, you’re going to like it.

Except you’re not. Or at the very least, I’m not. Not for 75% of the book anyway.

Musicians are, by design, narcissists. Everything centers around them, they’re in the spotlight and they like it there. Publishing books about their own lives fits in perfectly with that narcissism. Me, me, mine, mine, me, me…

Nikki Sixx was able to pull off the conversation. Reading “This is Gonna Hurt” felt like you were sitting across the table from the man and conversing about the roller coaster that is his life.

Mark Oliver Everett is talking TO you. Not with you. He’s telling the story and you’re going to sit there and take it all in. Take in the death of his father wrapped up on two pages. Take in two or three paragraphs about every girl that crossed his path.

In the last quarter of the book, Everett warns the reader that he may start writing things in a more present tense. Less looking back. This is where the book gets better.

The blurb on the book about surviving the death of his family members is….not misleading but not the focus of the book. There isn’t much you could take away from this book to help you cope with your own losses, if that’s what you were looking for with this.

Favorite passage:
“We’re all fucked up, I’m thinking, and that’s the truth. Everyone’s got some crazy shit going on in their life and no one is living any of that fairy-tale shit that the TV made you believe life was suppose to be like when you were young.”

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