Yeesh, what a family.... I'm not sure where the author got his title from since there didn't seem to ever be any 'splendid' plans for anything other than simple survival, but anyways, I found this book to be fairly engaging. The writer seems at times to almost be in denial at how his behavior, in addition to his brother's very obvious messed-up actions, must have appeared not only destructive but actually threatening in the eyes of others. The book seemed to me to be mostly a sort of cathartic place for the author to air his on-going hurt and anger towards various family members. I always thought my own upbringing was boringly 'normal' and that everyone else's was probably the same, but with all the books coming out revealing the types of crazy and destructive behavior in families, I'm starting to see my own ordinary family as startlingly unique! Our hurts and disappointments were there, but they were hardly earth-shaking. We got off lucky!
This story is a car wreck that I couldn't look away from. A family of codependency, losing the fight against addiction and mental illness in the author's older brother.
The story is dark and sad, and the prose rings with resentment.
Moving and haunting. A family biography; the author chronicles his older brother's falling apart, and the author has troubles and choices of his own. I'll remember this book for a long time.
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