Mountain writes from an honest place where no offense is spared and no shocking detail is left to the imagination, the material leavened by flashes of adult insight. Filled with the off-color banter you can expect from young men trying find their place in the world, Paul finds solace in a relationship with Lonnie, a slightly older woman, amongst other companions and lots of drugs and sex, some explicitly described. Mountain does not glorify these experiences or present himself and his friends as any more enlightened than they were—expect a lot of chatter about Lonnie’s breasts—nor does he shy away from the euphoria his younger self felt.
Rude, crude and occasionally philosophical, Mountain’s memoir offers an unflinching look at being a young American man out of control in a now by-gone era, testing limits and surprising with extremes, such as the scene of Paul snorting cocaine and making love with an older woman in a dingy bar restroom… but only after she tells him to roleplay as a fourteen-year-old. His shock after coming down saves him from being a total lost cause doomed to “steadily worsening addictions.” If you can stomach that, dear reader, then you’ll do just fine with the first of Paul’s memoirs.
Takeaway: An entrepreneur reflects on escaping a proudly debauched American coming of age, circa 1989.
Great for fans of: Jim Carroll, Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B-