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Little New York Bastard: A Memoir

by M. Dylan Raskin

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202936,355 (2.5)None
Meet M. Dylan Raskin -- "MDR" to friends. At 22, he's the opposite of hip: a working-class college dropout who lives with his mother in Queens -- "Flushing-Stinking-Queens," to be precise. It's not that he doesn't like New York, exactly, it's just that lately he's felt more and more at odds with everything -- his family, his generation, his hometown, even himself. One day he gets fed up and decides to take his freedom on the road, setting off for Chicago in a quixotic attempt to turn his life around. Little New York Bastard is the story of an outsider for the ages, a mixed-up kid who knows what he wants in life but has no idea how to get it. Raskin's anger is palpable and his wounds are unabashedly raw, and readers will appreciate the immediacy and honesty of his story. Equal parts road story, coming-of-age memoir, and existential manifesto -- this debut is in the tradition of cult classics like Youth in Revolt and The Fuck Up.… (more)
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I couldn't get through more than twenty or thirty pages of this. "Catcher in the Rye" is my absolute favorite book in the world, and this is supposed to be "the next Catcher." Well, it definitely does sound like Holden Caulfield -- TOO much like him. It sounds like the guy sat down and just copied Salinger's style. Not very original. Also, the guy bitches and complains way more than Holden does, and when this guy does it, it's not funny. I can tolerate it with Holden because he was 16, and I felt the same way when I was 16. This guy is in his 20s and he has so much hatred for everyone around him, it's pathetic. He's very immature and just seems like a smug thug from Queens. Avoid it. ( )
1 vote cafepithecus | Mar 22, 2008 |
Updated review (2008): So I'm changing my rating from five star to four. I remember how in love with this book I was when I first read it a few years ago. I still agree with the bulk of what he had to say and found so much of it to be really endearing, raw and real, and not to mention funny as hell. I think a lot of the material in it is more ranting than anything else, so you can't take it TOO seriously. But I think there's definitely truth to what he says about others' behavior. Still, the book didn't have as strong an effect on me as it did the first time around. This is probably because I'm in a different place now. I'm still a cynical, jaded introvert (I'm pretty sure that's not goin' anywhere) but since I'm finding my way out of my quarter-life crisis I find myself remembering what this used to be like as opposed to living it.
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Original Review (2006): I don't even think I can justify with words how much I loved this book. I don't even know how to describe what's so great about it or why it's so amazing - it just is. It rocked me to the core, made me all emotional. And it's not about the fact that it's this amazing, earth shattering story or that it's the book to end all books, because it's not. He's just talking about himself and his life at the age of 22 and how he sees things and sees people, mostly from a cynical, jaded point of view. So not everyone is going to like this book or get this book. A lot of people would probably hate it. I got it, because MDR is me, inside out, upside down. It is very entertaining though, if you're not all sensitive and can handle the truth about our generation. But seriously, MDR needs to marry me. Like, right now! ( )
  paperdoll | May 17, 2006 |
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Meet M. Dylan Raskin -- "MDR" to friends. At 22, he's the opposite of hip: a working-class college dropout who lives with his mother in Queens -- "Flushing-Stinking-Queens," to be precise. It's not that he doesn't like New York, exactly, it's just that lately he's felt more and more at odds with everything -- his family, his generation, his hometown, even himself. One day he gets fed up and decides to take his freedom on the road, setting off for Chicago in a quixotic attempt to turn his life around. Little New York Bastard is the story of an outsider for the ages, a mixed-up kid who knows what he wants in life but has no idea how to get it. Raskin's anger is palpable and his wounds are unabashedly raw, and readers will appreciate the immediacy and honesty of his story. Equal parts road story, coming-of-age memoir, and existential manifesto -- this debut is in the tradition of cult classics like Youth in Revolt and The Fuck Up.

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