❰Epub❯ ❥ I Didn't Mean to be Kevin Author Caleb J. Ross – Golanvideoagency.info
A bit of an aside to start here s an indie publisher doing right by the reader The purpose of an indie publisher should be to publish smart books that push buttons and boundaries that would otherwise be ignored by the 50 shades of grey and Tom Clancy wannabe mainstream Anyway, the book itself is wild ride through struggling middle america complete with missing body parts and some dudes looking for their moms The plot gets ragged at times, but who cares You read this for the truly memorable cast of characters and Caleb s smart, funny, and imaginative spin on a Palahniukian conceit Here s hoping some of that mainstream audience can pull their heads out of their asses long enough to read Ross, and then be gloriously horrified. It s hard to tell what a Caleb Ross book is going to be about just by reading the back cover blurb In fact, I feel that the blurbs of praise on the book are indicative of what the experience will be like Rayo Casablanca calls it an amazing fiction concept Publishers Weekly called it stirring You could try and explain to someone how this is about a guy driven to embark on a road trip to Deleware to prove that having a mother is overrated, but I think stirring and amazing fiction concept are accurate to describe what the experience is like Sometimes it works really well, other times it lacks just a little something, but I m always glad that I spent time indulging in another Ross unique visions.The thing that I think you should be aware of upfront Jackson Jacoby, the main character, is hard to like You learn early on that he is an unreliable narrator, and overall, not a very likable person But like all compulsive liars, the truth slips out in bits and pieces throughout the story, and as we learn about him, the we come to understand the way he is It s one of the most commendable aspects of Ross fiction that he can make a compelling unlikable narrator Whereas most fiction focuses on strong, decisive characters that follow a formula of revealing themselves through acts of will, Ross characters are lost, unsure of themselves, and a bit pathetic But the interesting thing is, when you immerse yourself in the mind of such a person, you begin to see some of the little ugly pieces of yourself and the people you know To some degree, these characters are like defective machines which current neurology research seems to support, that we are like machines than the models of free will that we think we are Kudos to Ross for writing about characters who are broken and disfigured, who aren t Type A hero cliches, and who are unapologetic for who they are This darkness in his work may take a bit of getting used to, but once you re there, you can t help but enjoy delving into this haunted area of human behavior.I never felt like Jackson s motherlessness was at the center of his actions Rather, it seemed to be indicative of a larger problem because of his motherlessness and fatherlessness for that matter , he has no roots He s never had a guiding hand leading him one way or the other His next closest relative was practically insane, so it s no wonder he turned out to be so strange He seems to embark on his trip less as a real desire to do anything and to open himself up to anything that could happen along the way There is an undercurrent of his desire to meet a woman he is pretending is his mother, to try and feel the experience of having a mother, but his real issue seems to be his lack of any solid foundation All along the way, Jackson tells stories about a man named Marion Garza The stories morph overtime, and as they change, we begin to see of what might be the real Jackson Jackson also has a fascination with dismembered body parts Perhaps it s because of his missing ear Maybe it was a metaphor for something that was missing in himself It was interesting to see where this took him in the story, but I never felt that it tied in real cleanly with the rest of the story Maybe that was the point This was one area where Jackson s unreliability obscured what exactly happened By the end, I wasn t sure what really happened with the various dismembered body parts that appear through the story, but I also felt like the truth wasn t that important to the story But as much as missing ears and feet play a part in the story, it seems like it should matter But sometimes our quirks don t always have much to do with other aspects of ourselves, even if they feel like they should in the art of storytelling The real fun of I Didn t Mean To Be Kevin is riding the course of this unreliable narrator and figuring out your version of the truth for yourself Caleb Ross is never going to hand you a moral on a silver platter So if you re in the mood to read something different, something that will entrance you and bring you inside the world of a troubled mind, I heartily recommend I Didn t Mean To Be Kevin. I don t care if anybody finds this crap Sometimes you just got to know something is out there Even if you don t take it, you ve got to have something to wonder about This is an odd story about a boy who has grown up on the streets after leaving home and is now a man but he doesn t know how to be an adult He s adrift in his life, buying beers had can t afford for girls he doesn t really like telling wild stories But after finding a note in a paper about a mother desperately looking for her son, he decides to go on a road trip to meet this mother There are real gems in the story, lines that make you think and wonder But there is also a lot of odd stories and people andit s all just odd But I m pretty sure I enjoyed it Finished in one day Could Not Stop Reading Excellent. I DIDN T MEAN TO BE KEVIN by Caleb J Ross is a unique kind of road trip story Well maybe not entirely unique It borrows it s feel from Chaucer s CANTERBURY TALES in the way Lucas STAR WARS pays homage to THE HERO S JOURNEY There are no original ideas just great twists of classic stories That s not to put Ross down, he is one of the most unique voices on the scene today in this reviewer s humble opinion.Like every great and not so great road trip story, I DIDN T MEAN TO BE KEVIN is about a person who is trying to figure out who they really are Caleb Ross adds many twists and turns to that simple idea Along the way the protagonist meets an array of people who each have a story of their own to tell The story plays heavily with the idea of the lies that people tell It examines what s real and what s fake It s a philosophical journey into truth and or the perception of truth.Caleb Ross has a way to write into the darkest parts of your soul This story is no exception because it s real in the ways we all have a hard time admitting is real Ross instinctively knows how to present those dark thoughts and ideas we all have but are afraid to admit thought we all know we all share those ideas While not as grotesque or disturbing as his other books, I DIDN T MEAN TO BE KEVIN is still engaging and thought provoking It is in short not to be missed.Though I may recommend some of his other work ahead of this, this is still a solid story It represents something a little different then where he has gone before Is it a maturing of his style, exploration of new ideas or simply the subject matter of the story that makes this story less disturbing then his other work I m not sure It is still very well written and worth the read of every measured word. To say that this impressed me is an immense understatement I Didn t Mean to Be Kevin is the first thing I ve read from Caleb J Ross, but I m confident it won t be the last That didn t sound as trite in my head Ostensibly, this is a road trip novel about Middle America Caleb invites us along for the ride or, aptly, the freak show It isn t long before we re introduced to an engaging gaggle of weirdos Robert the bodybuilder was my favourite and tensing up as protagonist, Jackson Jacoby, narrowly avoids certain death for the umpteenth time.It s difficult to review this book because it s so many things at once At times it was messy, and at times it required a bit of work to follow, but it never frustrated me this book was never less than entertaining Like its wonderfully conflicted, REPULSIVE characters, this book wears its flaws namely the aformentioned messiness on its sleeve if you indulge it for even a little while, you ll find that it s all part of its charm I Didn t Mean to Be Kevin was thrilling and utterly unpredictable Jackson s desperation leads him down a lot of messed up roads, but you ll follow despite being uncertain about whether you can even trust him The character I most identified with was Creg I ve been similarly led astray by friends with big personalities and questionable morals Never a dull moment when you re in league with someone like Jackson.There s a lot substance to this book than my review lets on, but I feel I d being doing a disservice if I revealed any I ll just say that Jackson s an unreliable narrator with mother issues and nothing to lose Combine this premise with Ross s sweeping, confident prose and you get some revelatory passages so cutting they ll momentarily snatch your breath away.I ve heard that this novel has been compared favourably with the work of Chuck Palahniuk I couldn t fairly comment on this as I ve only read Invisible Monsters I have seen film versions of Fight Club and Choke , though, and can thus deduce that Palahniuk is not my cup of tea To me, his work is clumsy and heavy handed the kind of overwrought rubbish that teenage boys adore because they mistake it for poignancy Invisible Monsters is rife with shallow proclomations to me, Kevin is NOTHING like this It is gripping and full of substance. Review of I Didn t Mean to be Kevin by Caleb J RossRead for Shut Up Read s Pick4Me Challenge September 2012I had picked up this book during a free period at.com, and it was selected for me as the Goodreads Group Shut Up Read s September Pick4Me challenge I found it difficult and disturbing for me, depressing, as much so as reading Winter of Our Discontent as a child or Room in March 2012 Now both those novels are well liked and recommended by other readers, so perhaps it is just my perception.I was tempted to feel sympathy for the characters, almost every one of whom has suffered greatly from familial dysfunction those who haven t set themselves up as tinpot gurus to explain how the sufferers should live from here on out Jackson Jacoby, a twenty two year old who claims to have been put out by his mother at age ten and to have suffered a damaged ear in a construction accident earlier than that , expresses his life myth through constant and repetitive relation of a tale about a couple who travel the country selling body parts to museums of the bizarre and oddities He carries an item in a watch box which he claims is the ear of one of them His buddy Creg I hesitate to call them friends watches Laundromat Spanish language television hoping to find his long missing mother.Eventually, inspired by a set of truly ridiculous and upsetting circumstances, Jackson finds himself impelled to cross the country, conning the mother of a missing boy via phone What he really wants, of course, is a mother, but what he finds is both and less than what he expected.I rated it 4 Stars for the writing and for the complex storyline, and the truly horrendously dysfunctional characters Try as I might, I won t find this one too forgettable. Brilliant.In the genre, Palahniuk just fell off the pegboard i.e than just down a few pegs Ross can do this without dissociative identity disorder or magic spells, etc., and still deliver that intrinsic sense of surreal read all too real displacement.This is the best piece of fiction I ve read by Caleb Ross, and the best literary fiction I ve read in years I believe his other works continuing the comparison are at least on a pretty level playing field with Palahniuk, but this one leaves Chuck choking miserably in the dust of a stolen van, wondering what the hell happened to three of the fingers from his left hand, with the name Jackson stuck in the recesses of his mind. Jackson Jacoby Is A Motherless Twenty Two Year Old Boy With Only The Support Of His Crazy Ex Military Uncle Marve And A Kindred Motherless Peer Named Creg Creg Holds Fast To The Hope Of One Day Reuniting With His Mother While Jackson Maintains That His Own Life Is So Much Better Off Without All The Baggage That Comes Along With Being Somebody S SonAfter Finding A Plea In A Newspaper From A Woman Begging Her Runaway Son, Kevin Masons, To Return Home, Jackson Takes The Opportunity To Prove To Creg That A Mother Is Not Necessary To Be Happy What Begins As A Drunken Call To The Mysterious Mother Leads To A Cross Country Pilgrimage To Attend The Will Reading Of Kevin S Recently Deceased Grandfather Along The Way, Jackson Spreads Tales Of His Participation In The Human Appendage Trade, The History Of His Missing Ear, And Anything Else That Might Validate His Life The Way He Insists That A Mother Never Could Brilliant One Of The Most Amazing Fiction Concepts I Ve Ever Read Rayo Casablanca, Author Of Sick Hipsters And Very Mercenary Kensington In I Didn T Mean To Be Kevin, Caleb J Ross Writes Fearlessly, Never Shying Away From The Wild, Insane Places Where His Fertile Imagination Leads Him The First Half A Twisted Take On Small Town Aimlessness, The Second Half The American Road Novel From Hell, The Book Is Ultimately A Darkly Comedic Evaluation Of A Generation Of Motherless Men Joey Goebel, Author Of Torture The Artist And Commonwealth MacAdam Cage The book far exceeded my expectations I only say that because Caleb Ross is a relatively new author with only a few titles to his name I had the assumption that this book would be average at best Let me tell you how wrong I was to assume that This book was excellent I found myself fully engrossed in the story Caleb Ross packs a lot into these 200 pages Overall, I was completely impressed with this book Caleb Ross has a lot of talent for writing I can t wait to read of his work 5 stars for I Didn t Mean To Be Kevin.