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Askew Review 15

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(Blueboy Productions) by Jimmy Reject. 120 pages. Collection of various fiction/nonfiction writings. As his writing indicates, Jimmy Reject tends to live life to the extreme, and I don’t mean the Mountain Dew rollerblading down Mt. Everest extreme. “Down in Flames,” which chronicles Mr. Reject’s life between the ages of 14-23, proves that he let the good times roll a bit to well and let the bad times take its toll. Tales of friends, school, work, and many punk rock travels are detailed. The other sections of the book are a mish-mash of short stories and a chapter packed with simple paragraphs giving you an idea of what was going on in Jimmy’s mind at the moment of writing.
Having grown up in the same general area as Jimmy and hanging out in the same general Boston “punk” scene, I often found myself very interested in what Jimmy had to offer with this book. Although I do not know this guy, I did often wonder while reading if maybe our paths crossed or if I know some of the people of whom he wrote. That aside, Jimmy’s writing is very readable and enjoyable with some instances of rambling. However annoying the rambling seems at times, it also gives you an idea of how out of control this guy’s brain moves and works. The writing shows as much confidence as it does brutal insecurities, with heavy doses of self destructive behavior. “Down in Flames” (the best part of this collection) had me cheering Jimmy on as much as it made me shake my head and wonder “Why’d you do that, Jim?” The stuff is like a roller coaster. I did enjoy the fiction pieces and I am sure there’s a lot of underlying truth to what is written, but I constantly felt myself wanting to read more of JR’s nonfiction ranting. The one major bytch I have concerning The Enemy’s Within are the short “why I wrote this” introduction to each section of the book. I hate reading this kind of narrative before stories (as well as narration in movies) and feel it just gets in the way of true writing. Jimmy Reject use to be the drummer for the once popular, but now defunct, Dimestore Haloes.  The text within the covers of this book will have you saying three Y words; Yaay (or yeehaw if yer a Southerner), yick, and yikes. Sadly, the author died at the age of 35 in August 2006.– Denis Sheehan



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