Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Bullies: A Friendship by Alex Abramovich
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not effect my opinion of the book or my review itself.
Alex Abramovich's memoir is centered around an unusual subject. He tracks down the person he remembers as being his childhood bully, Trevor, to find out what his life is like now, and they end up becoming friends.
Trevor is living in Oakland, the head of a motorcycle club known as the East Bay Rats. After Alex visits, he ends up moving to Oakland with his then-fiancee, and becomes the "embedded" recorder of the life of Trevor and his East Bay Rats.
This book is about so many topics, and Abramovich writes about all of them with knowledge and skill. Bullies is about childhood, forgiveness, morals, loyalty, poverty, the unreliability of our memories, the power of our past, masculinity, violence, freedom, and politics. It covers both the decline and gentrification of Oakland, the Occupy Oakland movement,and a local murder and subsequent trial.
But these weighty topics, as many as there might be, never get lost, or short-shifted. Abramovich weaves them all together, to tell a story about not only the impact we have on others, and on our environment, but the impact others, and our environment, have on us.