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Sharp Turns

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Worth reading 😎

Michael Weiskopf's riveting tale of his climb from a devastating childhood to success and the leadership of The Complete Unknowns.

I admit to being a philistine about the cover band The Complete Unknowns, so I came to this book with no knowledge of who the author was or what the end story would be.


Reading it as a memoir of, to me, a complete unknown, I was put off by "the world done me wrong" tone. It seemed to me that the memoirist persistently avoids taking any responsibility as he careens from disaster to disaster.


The author's young life was hard, spent in a challenging and traumatizing family, moved and unloved many times. I am tempted to say the "unloved" part seemed partially self-engendered, but that seems unkind. What teenager truly understands their behaviour?


His tales of leaving school, dealing drugs, confidence tricking, theft and other illegal activities didn't warm me to the author. Throughout the book there is a constant refrain of how things didn't turn out because something happened to him. He ends up in solitary, for example, because he threw a plate of mashed potatoes at his jailer's head in response to the jailer's meanness. Well, yeah. I suppose. But he didn't have to throw the potatoes. Just sayin'.


I felt envy for his ability to swim into employment just by putting on a suit, only to feel annoyed when he walked out and went back to selling drugs. It seemed as if there were no consequences for his actions, though I'm sure there must have been in reality. There was mention of the various jobs he took but his lack of self-assessment appears self-absorbed and sociopathic.


His success in the magazine world seems to come out of nowhere. I would have liked more information about that transition, how he managed to find his way in there and take his lack of book-learning through to managing a magazine empire. Was it all a "who you know" success?


Interviews of friends add a vital dimension to the memoir, in what they said and didn't say. Drugs are pervasive in this book. I wish they had provided insight. Contraceptives were not. I wish they were.


That said, I couldn't stop reading the story. It is well-written and engaging, and I kept hoping for an epiphany, a realization of the lives left shattered or disappointed behind him. It didn't happen.


Final note: text font changes oddly here and there. Sequence of story is not in order; is somewhat confusing.

Reviewed by

An avid reader of all genres except romance. Published writer of humour and short fiction/non-fiction. Currently working on a fiction trilogy: Recycled Virgin is out now on Amazon; Deceiving the Devil will be published in June 2020.

Retired nurse. Now artist and crafter plus writing, of course!

Born Into This

About the author

Born and raised in Brooklyn NY. Michael was orphaned and left home before the age of seventeen. His life took him from the streets of NYC to a life as a recording and performing artist with stops along the way that found him in jail, corporate boardrooms, success as an entrepreneur and more. view profile

Published on March 14, 2019

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by