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Jolly Lad: A Menk Anthology
- By: John Doran
- Narrated by: John Doran
- Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
Jolly Lad is a memoir about the recovery from alcoholism, habitual drug use, and mental illness. It is also about the healing power of music, how memory defines us, the redemption offered by fatherhood, and what it means to be working class.
- By Jackie Chesbro on 12-07-16
Excellent, Highly Recommended
What did you like most about Jolly Lad: A Menk Anthology?
Early on in Jolly Lad, Doran is encouraged through writer's block by a friend who declares that one must write “what they know”. Doran has indeed written about a life that many of us know, at least in part, with stories and memories strung together by familial impact and a love of pop music. Starting with the awesome and slightly terrifying grandeur of martyred statuary in a Catholic Church, he moves along into an adulation of Adam Ant, a grudging love of U2 (with particular emphasis on the Unforgettable Fire) and the bizarre truth of a Sugarcubes show was that incredibly violent, yet also completely fantastic.Another key facet of the story, however, is a history of emerging addiction: it's origins from a single can of lager to a pattern of consumption that devours days, memories, and relationships. As these issues coalesce, Doran's reading of his own work out loud becomes an unrelenting cascade of events that have befallen him on his trip to becoming a music journalist. Some are mundane, some are unbelievably cool, some are wrenchingly sad, and still others are frankly hilarious, even in the midst of situations that, in retrospect, could be deemed quite dangerous. But this is the point of a person coming to terms with their own life stripped of an insulating layer of drugs and alcohol -- of willingly embracing the complexities that each day presents. Doran discloses his struggles without flinching, sharing stories that are highly personal yet also familiar to anyone who has had to step back from the deceptively simple joys of endless nights out. Jolly Lad is honest, disarmingly funny and for anyone who has encountered these difficulties themselves, an inspiring and ultimately hopeful read.