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This River

"What is fascinating to watch is not a spectacle of decline—he writes of addiction to alcohol, heroin, meth, prescription drugs and antidepressants—but his geologic sculpting, this wearing away of a person, memories and all, down to some pure and simple core. This River continues where Brown's first memoir, The Los Angeles Diaries, left off. It's molten stuff, the story of his efforts to control his river of rage."

—Los Angeles Times


“A beautifully crafted and intensely moving book. Without artifice or pretension—without false moves of any sort—James Brown goes after the biggest literary game: death, love, children, degeneration, hopelessness, hope. I read this book straight through, in one spellbound sitting, and I will read it again in a week or two. It is so good.”

—Tim O’Brien, National Book Award winning-author of Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried


“James Brown is a truth teller and here again he does not disappoint. His writing as always is lucid and unflinching. In laying bare his own soul, he makes of his work an act against loneliness, shot through with a sad wisdom.”

—Kem Nunn, author of the L.A. Times Book Award winner Tijuana Straits and of the National Book Award nominated Tapping the Source


“When you put this book down, trust me, you will think about it for a long time.”

—Robert Olmstead, author of the national bestseller Coal Black Horse


“James Brown has shaped from the English language something rather different: an exacting, muscular prose both tender and unforgiving, rigorously concise in its refusal to dilute the darkest realities and yet capacious and nuanced in its pursuit of redemption and familial love. He is one of our most accomplished writers, and this brilliant memoir is among the finest of its kind.”

—B.H. Fairchild, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award winning Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest and National Book Award nominated The Art of the Lathe