Nick Flynn's prose in his book "Another B_ Night in ___ City: A Memoir" (Amazon will not allow me to post the name of the original book that this new offering is from. 'Being Flynn' is the name of the film taken from Nick Flynn's book) has the feel of a great writer. He is able to capture the essence and flavor of the homeless, the shelters, the life and times of a young man who is trying to find his way.
Nick Flynn's father, Jonathan, told him when he met his father at a homeless shelter, "that life on the streets of Boston was just another 'BS night in S___ city". How aptly that must describe life of the homeless. Jonathan was an aimless man looking for the quick buck when he met Nick's mother, Jody. Jody was from an affluent family, and the young man was given many chances by this family to succeed in one business after another. Dad just couldn't make it- alcohol, drugs and lack of responsibility took precedent. Dad left the family, wife and two sons, and left them on their own. He went from job to job, drug to drug, prison to no real life on the outside, and became a homeless person. Nick during this time grew up also looking for drugs and alcohol, and finally cleaned up his act. His mother committed suicide and left him bereft. He saw his dad a couple of times, but they were not successful meetings. Nick went on to become a case worker at a homeless shelter in Boston. His bold writing of life in the shelter gives us a very clear idea of the sadness, humility and humanity that makes up such a life. Into this setting comes Jonathan, the dad. How strange to meet your father at your job, particularly at a homeless shelter. This meeting led to a father/son relationship, of sorts. Nick's brother wanted nothing to do with his father and absolutely refused to see him. Nick is left to form a relationship of sorts; one born out of grief, hate and of course, love. The pattern of the relationship is parental- the son becomes the parent. But during this time Nick learns about his father and mother's life and is able to distill old demons. And, he is able to start his novel.
Nick Flynn has created a large disturbance with this memoir. It has been well received because of the story and because of his writing. This novel grabs you, and it is hard to put down. I look at the homeless in a different light. When I walk the streets of Boston, I shall look at the bus stops, "T" station and other areas where homeless congregate in a different manner. This memoir is an eye opener, and it deserves unprecedented praise. I shall keep an eye on Nick Flynn- he has a future.
Highly recommended, prisrob 02-29-12
The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir