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See a Grown Man Cry / Now Watch Him Die Paperback – 25 Sep 1997
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A compilation of work by Rollins from 1988-1992, this is an exorcism of the demons that emerged after he witnessed the senseless murder of his best friend, fellow author and Black Flag roadie, Joe Cole.
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"See a Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die" encompasses Henry's personal reflections of his life and touring throughout the 1988-1992 period. Mr. Rollins' book is comprised of writings taken from his personal journal and poems that he wrote during one of the darkest periods of his life, including witnessing the murder of his best friend, Joe Cole. Reading the first half of this book, his poems, leaves the reader with a taste of Henry's lonely and depressed feeling of obscurity. His poems not only reflect the dark side of his life, but also the tender and vunerable side that often causes him pain. . . one would think that Henry's often suicidal view is a cry for help. But in reality, he choses to hang on as shown by his defiant attitude towards life. The second half, comprised mostly of journal entries while touring, reflects the often angry Henry who wants nothing more than to spit in your face and to be left alone. At the same time, he wants everyone to know who he is and where he's coming from, yet needs the loneliness of his existence--one can only feel that Henry's expressions are nothing more than a contradiction: he desires success and fame, but agonizes over what comes with the territory of being famous (having fan recognition and having to do interviews).
The book is a true, sometimes brutal account of Henry's life and what he has endure during this dark and depressing time. I can appreciate his straight forwardness, honesty and defiant attitude towards life because we all share a painful period in our lives; some more than others. At the same time, I feel that while he deserves success, he does not necessarily deserve total kudos for his achievements, although I shall continue to respect his work.
Overall, I would still recommend it to fans of Henry Rollins. WARNING: Do not read this book if you're expecting a happy ending.
Read it for yourself.