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Monday, June 9, 2014

Take This Man: A Memoir

The premise sounded interesting, but the name of the author was even more so. This is Brando Skyhorse's Take This Man

Brando Skyhorse came about when his mother fell in love with Marlon Brando's Oscar acceptance (or lack thereof)--even though she was of Mexican decent, she always wanted to be American Indian. Hence the last name she gave her son. She also was desperately searching for a father for her son, leading to five marriages and the cover up of Brando's father from a young age. Why not? She never told a story unless she could exaggerate it into something amazing. Only after years of searching does Brando discover his own truth.

This memoir was jaw-droppingly interesting. Characters like Maria do exist in the real world, and, after all, truth is stranger than fiction. From her working as a sex phone operator (accusing her young son of it being his idea, after all) to dragging her son on cross-country adventures seeking out the latest American Indian getting out of prison to (hopefully) be her next husband, Brando's childhood lacked stability and he quickly learned how to get along within it. His list of fathers was one crazy after another; those who stole his allowance to those who tried but just couldn't make it happen. No matter the circumstance, his mother managed to drive each and every one away in her attempt to seek out the perfect life.

He clings to his grandmother, June, for stability. She was a fun and feisty character, but she was portrayed so lovingly that it is hard to understand where Maria came from. There had to be some pass-on of what made her the way that she was; possibly it was not having a father herself. I was frustrated at times that June would allow Maria to live in her home and bring along the crazy, but to each his own, I guess. It's a wonderful memoir that Brando tells with his recollection from his childhood, and it makes him that much more interesting.

Hard copy for purchase below.

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