Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Fast paced and amusing in the beginning, Still Life With Brass Pole begins to slow and become repetitive by the middle and agonizing at the end.

I found tale after tale of a middle schooler smoking pot, having sex, stealing, skipping school and being a complete juvenile delinquent with absolutely no repercussions tiring. By the time Craig gets to high school, the plot becomes extremely predictable and you know that you are about to read about more drugs, sex, stealing, etc. with once again, zero consequences.

At one point in the book, Craig describes a game his father used to play with him where his father sneaks up on him, holds him down and inserts his finger into Craig’s ass. Many incidences of this are mentioned and I was extremely troubled by the fact that no one seemed to think that this was wrong. Craig did not like it, but he never seemed to realize how wrong it truly was.

While Still Life With Brass Pole may be based on fact, as it is a memoir, I had to question why anyone would want to put this kind of story out there for the world to see? There was so much random sex with not only strippers, but any girl he happened across that I had to ask myself what the point of sharing this was. I certainly hope that middle school aged children don’t get a copy of this book as Craig seems to be trying to glamorize his indiscriminate sex habits, drug use and deviant behavior.

I found much of Still Life With Brass Pole hard to believe since it seemed that no matter where Craig moved, the drugs and sex were readily available to a middle school aged child. I am by no means saying that it isn’t possible for a middle schooler to have access to these things, I just had a very hard time believing that it was always extremely accessible no matter where he was.

Rating: 0.5/5

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Craig Machen. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.