Closing Time: A Memoir by Joe Queenan

By Joe Queenan

A deeply humorous and affecting memoir a couple of nice get away from a youth of poverty

Joe Queenan's acerbic riffs on video clips, activities, books, politics, and plenty of of the least forgivable phenomena of popular culture have made him the most renowned humorists and commentators of our time. In remaining Time Queenan turns his attractions on a extra severe and private subject: his youth in a Philadelphia housing venture within the early Nineteen Sixties. through turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Closing Time recounts Queenan's Irish Catholic upbringing in a kin ruled through his erratic father, a violent but oddly fascinating emotional terrorist whose alcoholism fuels a unlimited torrent of self-pity, railing, destruction, and late-night chats with the Lord Himself. With the aid of a chain of mentors and surrogate fathers, and armed along with his personal livid love of books and song, Joe starts the lengthy flight clear of the dismal confines of his neighborhood-with a quick misbegotten cease at a seminary-and into the broader international. Queenan's unforgettable account of the wear and tear performed to youngsters through mom and dad with no futures and of the grace little ones locate to maneuver past those stories will entice fanatics of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr, and should take its position as an autobiography within the vintage American culture.

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The next morning, we climbed into the tropical alpine zone, home to many wildflowers. Papery white everlasting fluttered on scraggly branches: happy faces in a desert scattered with shiny black rock and giant grass tussocks. Before certificates were awarded for reaching the summit, the park warden crowned successful trekkers with the hardy flowers of everlasting. We sped up the meandering trail. Above us, the 1400-metre rock wall of the Western Breach led to the crater rim of Kilimanjaro. 58 ∫ B e fore At 4300 metres, nausea overcame me and I sat down on a rock.

It would be seven metres at least; a pretty big fall. I back off and tell Eric I don’t feel quite right. I have to talk my way through it. ” I sat stiffly on the couch, fists clenched, and rooted silently for Jim. “I finished the route but, man, I was shaky. ” I lowered my gaze and forced my breath to be steady and quiet so as not to expose Jim any further. He looked like a wounded animal. After several minutes, Jim rose to his feet and fumbled in the closet for his jacket. At the door, I lurched forward into his stiff arms, and we rattled together longer than a friendship hug permits until nervous laughter broke us apart.

I took a step back. When I did poke my head inside, at least ten bodies lay like matchsticks on the dirt floor and wide white smiles broke the darkness. ” Beginning A ga in ¢ 5 7 “Lala salama,” they chorused. During the night, I stepped gingerly several times through the outdoor latrine area, a minefield, to relieve my churning gut. It’s just a bug, I told myself. Nothing to worry about. But my immune system struggled at altitude. The next day, I leaned into the long steep ridge ahead with enthusiastic strides and ignored the occasional cramp in my stomach.

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