Saturday, November 26, 2005

Made in Detroit by Paul Clemens

This book got great reviews. I was under the impression that this was a book about Detroit, and thought it might be interesting.

But I didn't like this book at all. Not one bit. I felt angry reading it. It was a short book, but took me forever to read and I found myself bitching about it to anyone who made the mistake of asking what I was reading. Several people were like, "just stop reading it if you hate it so much."

It was this long, rambling whine about how difficult it was to be a white boy attending private school in a city where whites were the minority. It felt like he just wrote and wrote trying to justify his racist views. He said his girlfriend was raped by a "black" man and therefore he felt justified in being angry that his sister was dating a "black" man. It made no sense to me. Maybe that's because I'm not "white" or a member or any one race, and therefore have never understood how people can justify their racist ideas.

All this time I believed that racism was a southern thing and that people "up north" were more intelligent with regard to race relations. This book proved me wrong. If anything, I learned that from this book.

Some reviews have described the work as "stream of consciousness." But it just seemed like a lack of editing and no real focus to me. I guess what angered me most was the idea that this kind of writing is being published. I didn't find it at all interesting. Nothing especially exciting happened in this person's life. I didn't understand what the actual story was. The author seems to have some real issues he needs to deal with.

Mostly though, I didn't feel like I learned anything about the city of Detroit or the people of Detroit. I don't feel like the author, someone who attended a private school and moved away for college, served as a true representation of a citizen of Detroit. Again, this is just my limited opinion. I really wish I'd not read this book. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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