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Though technically a memoir, this is more a compendium of hair-whitening bar stories that punch you in the throat until your eyes explode. Many people have watched their friends die and some have been to jail. There are those who have stepped in the ring with professional fighters and been beaten within an inch of their lives. Others have created media empires. Very few have done all this and embarrassed dozens of celebrities; enjoyed more than a couple of threesomes; brought the world “Warhol’s Children”; consistently attracted a million views with viral comedy videos; said, “Jesus is gay,” on national television; and made two American Indians from scratch.
There certainly isn’t anyone with this kind of life experience who can convey each tale in such a hilarious and endearing way. Whether he’s watching his friend get decapitated on acid or snorting cocaine off women’s breasts, McInnes only ever has one priority: maximum laughs. He’s not here to tell you how wise his father is or how hard it was to achieve his success. He’s here to make you laugh so hard, you puke. That’s it.
This lurid memoir by Vice magazine founder McInnes covers his booze and drug-fueled journey from an Ottawa suburb to the fleshpots of New York City. Along the way, McInnes fronts punk bands, gets stomped by skinheads, contracts numerous STDs, and starts a magazine that makes him a very wealthy man. Unlike most folks who party like rock stars, McInnes doesn't have to crash-land in a substance-abuse facility to reach his happy ending. Instead he throttles down the partying as he approaches 40, marries a woman with the unlikely name of "Blobs" and starts a family. It's the American dream come true, reality-TV style. The most interesting section covers McInnes's early days in Kanata and Ottawa. Like many smart, rebellious teenagers in the 1980s, McInnes found energy and an ethos in punk's rejection of tradition and conformity. His descriptions of the social mishaps and destructive antics of his friends are entertaining, honest, and occasionally touching. However, as he moves to New York City and up the social ladder, the book degenerates into a self-indulgent series of anecdotes about how wasted he got and all the hot sex he had.