Thursday, November 24, 2016

Glover, Stephen Steve-O (2012): Professional Idiot - A Memoir

What is it about?

The book tells the story of Steve-O, i.e. Stephen Glover, a member of the Jackass group until about the year 2001.

The book is autobiographical, covering Glover's quite eventful life from his own perspective.

The book may be thought to consist of three chronologically sequential themes, which all play a distinct part in painting the whole picture: childhood, the "stunt years" (i.e. including the Jackass career covering the two first movies), and sobriety following a mental (probably to a large part due to quite voluminous drug use) breakdown and subsequent institutionalization.

Was it good?

The book is quite breathtaking and engaging reading.

This is partly because of the drug- and mayhem-infused "stunt years" which make one to just wonder that Glover is still alive let alone reasonably healthy.

However, the book is - either intentionally or unintentionally - constructed so that the "third part", i.e. recovery and sobriety, makes all the preceding text to be seen in a completely different light.

Thus, what comes across as a narrative of outrageous irresponsibility up to about 75% of the book, in the end actually turns out to be a book about life values - and a quite contemplative account in that.

The main take-away for me?

I just can't say anything else than to admit, that the "third part" made me really contemplate life in general and - of course - my life in particular.

Somehow the feeling the book provides is that it is really difficult to appreciate what one has (what could perhaps be called as normal life) until it no longer is there. That is, it is often too easy to take things for granted.

Moreover, Glover's reflective discussion throughout the book about his dependency on attention from others certainly makes one think about the current buzz around social media, self-branding, "attention economy" and so on. In fact, if one feels that one may have a dependency problem (or any such problem) with social media, this is certainly one book to consider reading.

Who should read the book?

While the book is of quite general interest, I think that the book is exceptionally good reading for anyone suffering or recovering from a dependency of any sort; the book describes quite graphically both the highs and the lows, and a path onto solid ground in the end.

The book on Professional idiot

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