In a narrative that can be read as both a magnificent act of literary mythmaking and a howl of filial despair, Kent Russell gives us a haunting and unforgettable portrait of an America—and a paradigm of American malehood—we have never before seen.
Locked in battle with both his adult appetites and his most private childhood demons, Kent Russell hungers for immersive experience and revelation, and his essays take us to society’s ragged edges, the junctures between savagery and civilization. He pitches a tent at an annual four-day music festival in Illinois, among the misunderstood, thick-as-thieves fans who self-identify as Juggalos. He treks to the end of the continent to visit a legendary hockey enforcer, the granddaddy of all tough guys, to see how he’s preparing for his last foe: obsolescence. He spends a long weekend getting drunk with a self-immunizer who is willing to prove that he has conditioned his body to withstand the bites of the most venomous snakes. And in the piercing interstitial meditations between these essays, Russell introduces us to his own raging and inimitable forebears.
Blistering and deeply personal, I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son records Russell’s quest to understand, through his journalistic subjects, his own appetites and urges, his persistent alienation, and, above all, his knotty, volatile, vital relationship with his father. Download and start listening now!