The names have been changed to protect the not so innocent in Craig Machen's coming-of-age memoir Still Life With Brass Pole. If this were set in the 19th century the main character (Craig) would be an ideal rake, and his familiar behavior equal to a royal norm. However, this is contemporary, and with it comes the dys in functional. The narrative from the get-go is delivered in a direct, no-nonsense beating. Oh, it's heartfelt -- but for those who require their memoirs be delivered with kid gloves in purple prose and with kind, clearly marked reminiscing flashbacks -- get off the train now because it's about to derail. Machen offers little or no excuse in his re-telling and by doing so, elevates the authority of the story while spreading blame evenly. It's this insightful manner and self-reflection that drives the disastrous journey toward a white-light of hope ending. Many will be able to relate to the stumble and bumble through early life account and embarrassing anecdotes of underwear. It'll make you scratch your head while conjuring wise, old phrases like, 'everything happens for a reason,' and 'I had to go through the things I did to arrive where I am.' It might even inspire you to break out into a soulful rendition of 'My Way,' the Sid Vicious version. I must say I walked away from the book more of a genius than when I arrived. I like to thank Machen, for now I truly understand the complex and self-destructive muck bubble of Eminem and Kim Mathers relationship (and all those suffering a similar fate). We all want to rescue and be rescued -- who doesn't fantasize about becoming a hero to someone? If you've ever asked, "Why do girls date (insert expletive)? Why do they go for the bad guy? Or reversa if you willa -- this book is for you. It should answer the question and if you're still confused by the end, go to the beginning and start all over because obviously you weren't paying attention!