Adam Mansbach’s “Rage is Back”

Posted by on Feb 2, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

Rage Is BackRage Is Back by Adam Mansbach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review from Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: In a show of literary multidexterity, the author of the best-selling faux children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep has written a sassy, snarky homage to ’80s-era graffiti artists and the city that was their canvas. Mansbach wields a jazzy, poetic voice (often in the second person, but it somehow works) in a druggy haze of a story full of heart and soul. Billy Rage is an infamous graffiti artist who’s returned to New York–and the son he abandoned–16 years after the murder of a fellow artist at the hands of city police. At times I wondered if I was feeling sentimental for my New York days, but the deeper I read, the more I realized Mansbach might be something of a mad genius, a potty-mouthed poet with madcap Vonnegut-like qualities and a unique sense of metaphor: a dastardly laugh sounds “like a kid falling down a flight of stairs”; a sob jumps from a woman’s mouth “like the first dude to leap from the North Tower.” Fresh, fast-paced, and funny, this is a story New Yorkers will love and others will appreciate for the rap-style dialogue and patois of the urban artist. –Neal Thompson
Rage Is Back
Adam Mansbach

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