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EASTER RISING by Michael Patrick MacDonald (Houghton Mifflin)  NonFiction. 2006. 248 pages. Growing up in one of South Boston ís (MA) roughest projects, Michael Patrick MacDonald spent most of his time lying about where is was from, ashamed of where he was from, and trying his best to distance himself from where he lived. Along with handling the racial insanity swirling around the mid 1970ís Boston busing crisis, Michael had to deal with the violent deaths of a handful of his siblings, the near death and coma of his sister, and trying his best to fight the urges of crime and drugs. One of MacDonaldís methods of escaping this world was partaking in the wonders of punk rock music. High tailing it out of South Boston, MacDonald joined the ranks of Boston ís punk scene and often traveled to New York City to support his favorite bands. While escaping his surroundings to travel with punk bands and friends, Michael realized how experiencing and witnessing life outside of the projects was important to his heart, mind, and soul. Using this newly found motivation to travel, MacDonald found himself traveling to England , Ireland , and other places to satisfy questions covering many areas.
If you read his first book, All Souls, then you certainly know of the tragedy that surrounded Michael Patrick MacDonaldís life. If you havenít read it you should, but you do not need to have that book in your brain to make sense of this newest effort. While Easter Rising does touch on the tragedies, the meat of the book details MacDonaldís attempts at escaping his world, the vehicles that aided his escape, and the fuel that motivated the escape. Although reading about this poor bastardís troubles was rough, I loved reading about the punk rock exploits as Michael hit the Boston punk scene some years before me and discusses various bands, people, and venues that I had only heard of from older punkers. When I was a young lad, I spent a lot of time in Dorchester (not far from South Boston) and can relate 100% with Michael and his being punk amongst city slickiní, disco loving, feathered hair styling, silk shirt wearing baboons. His mention of this had me strolling down memory lane and laughing. Those not into punk rock may be thrown or disinterested in all the punk stuff, but the rest of the content is compelling enough to overshadow any punk dyslexia. Easter Rising, itís a page turner and you should get to turning its pages. Ė Denis Sheehan



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