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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Poignant and hugely entertaining, I Wish You Would Kill Yourself Like Your Brother or Like Kurt Cobain by Dean Strickland is a memoir that explores the soul of an artist and an unusually painful journey of love and justice. We meet Dean, a young man with a passion for music. Buoyed up with the desire to succeed, he chooses to go where the best musicians go — the University of North Texas, College of Music, in Denton, Texas. Having received a federal Pell grant and federal Stafford loans that paid for his college tuition and housing in the dorms, he is set for a journey that will transform him into a rock ‘n roll star. But when he falls in love with Rachel, his life becomes a roller coaster of powerful emotions, a journey that ends in him being arrested and charged with harassment. Is calling someone to make an apology an act of harassment? And can he still achieve his dreams?
This is a heart wrenching memoir that is emotionally charged, featuring characters like Rachel and Lucy and many others who are as real as the protagonist of the story. It is told in the third person narrative voice and in a tone that is detached and engaging. Dean Strickland recreates life in the university and explores the doldrums of the day, the challenges in relationships, and what it takes to beat the odds in an unfamiliar world. The narrative features compelling lyrics, some of them written for Rachel, each capturing the intensity of an emotion. I’d love to hear these lyrics sung. I Wish You Would Kill Yourself Like Your Brother or Like Kurt Cobain is emotionally rich, psychologically moving, and entertaining. A quick, delightful read that captures an artist’s intuition and his song writing process.