"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Soul On Ice by Eldridge Cleaver

A wordsmith master appropriately titled. There's the rage, and outrage working in Cleaver's memoir. He is just as enraged with himself, as he is outraged by political dealings he sees at play around him. And it's not all rant. He throws pretty hard punches knocking on unexpected doors. But here's where things got really fascinating for me.

It's the writing! Permanently scared, and as a result mentally incarcerated, Cleaver's prose becomes not what he sees, but how he writes what he sees. I was just in awe of his writing. Initially I was near to torn apart reading this man scraping the bottom of his soul saying 'here's who I am, what I think, how I think, and more importantly, how I came to think what I think. The next thing I know, I'm sorely humored (and amazed) by the sophisticated but surly way he phrases, and then positions his arguments. Generally, this is not the best way to win arguments. But it does grab attention, and I must contend, make for powerful literature. Soul on Ice had me on the edge of my seat. This memoir is a keeper.

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