Why this book?
On the first date with my now-husband, he asked that typical question: What’s your favorite book? And despite it being a typical question I didn’t have an immediate answer. I love to read about psychology, neurology, linguistics, and cosmology, but those aren’t really the types of books that make you call out a favorite. I remember later staring at my bookcase and asking myself which one I could say was my favorite. On the next date I handed him my copy of Jesus’ Son. It’s an addictive page-turner and a quick read, so a few days later he'd finished it, loved it, and had a better idea of how my mind worked.
This collection of short stories about addicts, drunks, petty criminals, and screw-ups, is all tied together by a narrator who breathes poetry into the ugliness of what it is to be on the edge of society, and often on the edge of death as well. While the subject matter might make some people crinkle their noses and think no thank you, I just have to say, this book is literary poetry that makes your heart hurt in a life-affirming way. It makes you feel everything. The beautiful prose laid over horrifying scenes, depraved behavior, and heartbreaking circumstances create hairline fractures in your mind as you read. It makes you look at yourself more closely and re-examine your place in this world.