By Sean Wilsey
"In the start we have been chuffed. And we have been continually over the top. So at the beginning we have been chuffed to excess." With those starting traces Sean Wilsey takes us on an exciting journey of lifestyles within the strangest, wealthiest, and so much grandiose of families.
Sean's blond-bombshell mom (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a Eighties society-page staple, usually unique Black Panthers and picture stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred toes within the air above San Francisco; an condominium on the best of a construction on the most sensible of a hill: packed with gentle, jam-packed with voices, jam-packed with home windows packed with water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father makes use of a jet helicopter to drop Sean off on the video arcade and lectures his son on right hygiene in public restrooms, "You may still wash your fingers first, earlier than you employ the urinal. no longer after. Your penis isn't really soiled. yet your palms are."
When Sean, "the form of baby who sings songs to in poor health flowers," turns 9 years outdated, his father divorces his mom and marries her ally. Sean's lifestyles blows aside. His mom first invitations him to devote suicide along with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that calls for packing her Louis Vuitton baggage and touring the globe, a retinue of multiracial little ones in tow. Her target: peace on the earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem start, and the pope, hoping each may possibly come again to San Francisco and convince his father to rejoin the family members. as a substitute, Sean is driven out of San Francisco and despatched spiraling via 5 excessive colleges, until eventually he eventually lands at an unorthodox reform tuition cum "therapeutic community," in Italy.
With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mixture of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding colleges, center Earth, skinheads, remodeling, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, therapeutic massage, Christian fundamentalism, canines, Texas, international thermonuclear conflict, fact, evil, masturbation, desire, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)—Oh the distinction of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion.