Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Mad Dash by Henry Rollins

(pb; 2009: nonfiction / journal -- full title: A Mad Dash: Introspective Exhortations and Geographical Considerations. Journal sequel to A Preferred Blur.)


Mad, like A Grim Detail, is a blunt, intense and occasionally funny kick-in-the-brain read. Anyone who's familiar with Rollins's media-diverse and prolific work may find themselves thinking I remember him talking about that. Those readers who aren't familiar with his work (and are not angry about his tough-minded, global-political mindset) may find themselves jolted into a new way of thinking.

The journal entries in Mad span from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. This time out his trips and musings center around his visits to Vietnam, Burma, Ireland and other countries, as well as his feelings about Bush II's presidency, the second Iraq war and his ongoing struggle with depression, made worse by a friend's 1991 murder.

This book could have been edited better -- Rollins reiterates his tired-of-people/want-to-do-the-best-shows-I-can feelings a few times too many. That said, this
is a journal and those reiterations, for some readers, may further add to the sense of continuity of Mad.

While Mad is not Rollins's best work, it is still worth owning, because even less-than-perfect Rollins product is often better and more provocative than others' best writing.

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