Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography is a memoir, told in vignettes, that captures the history of one dysfunctional American family. An extension of a 2003 "memory experiment" of the same name, A Common Pornography weaves recollections of small-town youth with darker threads from his family’s story, including incest, madness, betrayal, and death. A regular contributor to Dave Egger’s The Believer and McSweeney’s, Sampsell has written "the kind of book where you want to thank the author for helping you feel less alone with being alive" (Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir! and The Double Life Is Twice as Good).
"For beauty, honesty, sheer weirdness, and a haunting evocation of place, Kevin Sampsell is my favorite Oregon writer. Ken Kesey, Chuck Palahniuk - make some room on the shelf." (Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All)
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A Common Pornography wasn't bad, but felt like an outline for a memoir, rather than a fully-realized narrative. The question of "whose lives are worth examining" comes to mind - there wasn't enough detail - about the abusive father and the like - to warrant a book. An essay, maybe, but not enough weight for a book. This was basically some snapshots of a relatively average American - felt hungry again an hour after reading.
More honesty and depth of personal reflection - fairly surface and unremarkable observations.
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