Ed De Avila- New Memoir

September 25, 2012

Eddie DeAvila’s memoir, Spread Thin and Moving Fast; An Unlikely Story, covers his formative years in the voices of the growing child and then that of a young man just heading off to Cal Berkeley. He relates a dark, abusive childhood, from beatings to familial separation on a physical and psychological front, to exposures with a pedophile, golf and pool hustlers, druggies and the taste of the fairer sex. Told in an objective and pragmatic fashion the story unveils an age of the “Beat” jazz music scene amongst the freedoms of sex (fully exposed without restraint or soppy emotion) and rampant drug-use centered in Los Angeles. Perhaps some editing would have elevated the textual writing, but the tale proves more dramatic and heart-rending than the fictional (some say biographical) account of J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

In this sometimes melancholy recounting Mr. DeAvila states, “I avoided feeling bad, guilty, worthless, or angry by feeling nothing, by becoming the observer and not the actor, a bystander, almost as if nothing in my life had anything to do with me, emotionally detached.”

Yet somehow, somewhere, a light flares on. He first discovers music, novelists, and philosophers, and then resorts to living through his books. He discovers the draw and excitement of learning and finds in college, despite never graduating from a flawed high school system, the path to enlightenment. He’d found a world of “friends waiting for me who were ready to help me, ready to guide me, and who would never ridicule, scold, or berate me.”

Well done. An excellent self-published memoir!

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