Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Easter Rising - Review by Denise Dee

Quite possibly the best punk rock memoir ever written.

Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in Southie (South Boston) and has a very delicious black humor in his writing. He is 13 when he first gets into punk- back in the late 70's. MPM comes from a very large family and you can see how punk gave him a place in the world and might very well have saved his life.

Easter Rising is also a road trip book - not just a stroll down punk memory lane. He also goes with his Ma to Ireland as an adult. Some of the roads he travels are in his head and heart, and some of them are literal roads to NYC, London, Ireland, and Paris. I felt like I was at his side listening to his stories- rather than reading words on the page.

Some of the things I laughed the hardest at were when his grandfather comes over with holy water to exorcise him- because he heard MPM has been devil worshipping with the 'punk rocks'. When a friend of his sisters tells him he heard punks like to pee on themselves, MPM writes that he is so tired of trying to explain himself (and punk) by this point that he says- "Yeah that's what we do". I also loved a part where he is exchanging notes in class with a girl who tells him her name is Siouxsie. She writes "PUNK IS DEAD- GET OVER IT ".

And this is all before he's 16.

He realized when he visits in Derry that though many of his friends back in Southie have never been to Ireland, somehow the Irish message of 'Never give up the fight' has been imprinted on their hearts.

It's the kind of book you will be calling/e-mailing friends to quote lines from. My co-worker Justin's wife, who is in her 20's, loved it as much as I did.

By the end of the book when his Ma is carrying her accordion with her on Easter Sunday (he doesn't ask her why) he realizes that you "never know when you might be called on to give it everything you have to give". I was crying.

Read it or at least go to his MySpace page and check him out.


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