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Download Oh the Glory of it All: A Memoir epub

by Sean Wilsey

Download Oh the Glory of it All: A Memoir epub
ISBN: 0670916102
ISBN13: 978-0670916108
Category: Biographies
Author: Sean Wilsey
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin; Export Ed edition (2005)
Pages: 496 pages
ePUB size: 1143 kb
FB2 size: 1672 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 546
Other Formats: mobi lrf docx doc

Cherry The Countess
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Having lived in San Francisco during the Wilsey-Montandon divorce saga, I came to it with a good deal of background and enormous sympathy for Sean Wilsey, the victim of his massively narcissistic parents. The author's account of that divorce and his father's rapid remarriage to another monstrous narcissist, Dede Wilsey, is fascinating and horrifying, yet he undid my goodwill and interest by larding his tale with so much unnecessary information--pages of society items about Dede, long accounts of his reform school therapy sessions, lyrics of songs he listened to, and (for God's sake!) newspaper comics he read as a child--that I began to sympathize with his parents' and stepmother's desire to send him away. Far from creating a flattering portrait of himself, Wilsey wallows in his self-aggrandizement, masturbatory fantasies (including creepy ones about his stepmother, which bafflingly persist even as her treatment of him worsens), habitual lying and budding criminality. Hell-bent on self-destruction, Wilsey bounces from boarding school to boarding school until he winds up in two reform schools--a very abusive one called Cascade and a good one called Amity, where he finally straightens out. By then I was exhausted--and still had another 100 pages to go. Given his determination to spare us no detail about his life, the last section is strangely sketchy. We learn that Wilsey marries and has a child with Daphne Beal, a fellow New Yorker editorial staffer, but aside from the fact that they were "inseparable," he is strangely closed-mouthed about her and their relationship. After the gut-spilling of the previous 400 pages, it was more than a little odd. But then again, so is the author.
This book had me totally laughing out loud many times. I would just burst out laughing at how he described these horrible situations. He takes the most sad situations and turns them into a tragic comedy. I just love this book and will read it again.
His mom is a kook and means no harm but she did harm her child and yet he still loves her and she loves him too. He has a great gift for forgiveness. I used to love watching his Mom on TV and now to know she really was a kook does not diminish my love for her.
The terrible greedy Dede Wilsey if she had a conscience, should be ashamed of how she treated the author when he was a young boy. She was his step mother and made sure the authors father who was her elderly husband, would leave her son nothing! Imagine all the millions went to the wicked step mother and her two wicked step sons! This is a real Cinderfella story.
I really dig this book and can recommend it to anyone who likes to laugh. He is a good writer and I like his style. I look forward to his next book.
I have always wanted to become filthy rich. Like many, I have succeeeded on occasion in the former but never in the latter. Sean Wilsey, author of "Oh the Glory of It All," wants to become filthy rich too, and he has a much better shot at it than I do. In fact, the life he desires is so close, so within his reach, that it is happening mere blocks from his home and is being lived by his father (along with Dad's new wife and his two Stepford stepsons) while Sean and his mother fester and scheme in their duplex penthouse atop Russian Hill.

In the wake of her apparently well-plotted abandonment, Sean's mom -- Pat Montandon -- wants him to commit suicide with her, or maybe she'll just die of cancer. Pat's not sure but methods of revenge are discussed. The means of manipulation she employs are not lost on Sean. They frighten and enlighten him. Al Wilsey has left Pat, a society columnist, for, well, society. And Sean is left out. (In the movie version, Pat Montandon should be played by Sharon Stone. She'd be perfect. I can see her now rapping with the Black Panthers at one of her post-divorce roundtable discussions in the '70s.)

DeDe, Sean's new stepmom, is a real piece of, uh, work. DeDe holds the key to admittance into the charmed life Sean's father is now leading without him. Sean fawns over DeDe on the rare occasions he sees her, fantasizes about her in his bedroom, but he can't break in, until he breaks in literally, ripping the door off his father's mansion and stealing some of his possessions. He makes his point. But he doesn't stop there. When his aggressive, angry nature surfaces, the reader doesn't see it coming. He has portrayed himself, up to this point, as a passive personality.

Something must be done before Sean kills someone. (He has taken to tossing fruit off the penthouse balcony, barely missing pedestrians 800 feet below.) Sean's a druggie drinker with a skateboard and no use for studying. This is his long-aborning cry for help, but it leaves his family confused. Now both his mother and father are fed up with him. Instead of acknowledging his intelligence and creativity, Dad sends him to various "lock-down schools," as DeDe calls them, even escorting him to a couple.

We don't understand the disconnect between father and son. Mirror images, we see they love each other. They have a touching closeness, literally and figuratively. Is it just the appearance of DeDe in their lives, or is it Sean? Probably a combo deal - Dad's got a cute little heiress, and even though he's rich, she's richer and he'll do just about anything she says to keep her. She'd prefer not to have a reminder of the woman she stabbed in the back to get her husband. Bye bye Sean.

Unfortunately, the book lags as we follow Sean on his revolving-door boarding school escapades. This is not good because it takes us away from DeDe. Just like Sean, we want DeDe also. But we want her in a different way. Her malevolent presence enlivens the narrative of this book. Without her, we don't care as much. Without DeDe, this book is just another memoir about a teenager finding himself. Take a walk past any high school and you'll see the same story played out right there in your neighborhood. In fact, I'd venture a guess that many of these neighborhood memoirists might have a better tale to tell.

Of course the props are better in "Oh the Glory of It All." Sean can name them all, and does, lustily. He has taken early to the glimpse of wealth he was raised with and furious when it is taken away. At the end, he even mentions the hearse carrying Dad to his final rest is a "late model." (Like his dad?)

We already know that there's no money for Sean or his siblings in the will, and one suspects this is why he wrote the book. He blames DeDe when he realizes the money is all going to charity, and that he will not have a hand in the charity selected.

DeDe knows that Al Wilsey wants his name on something in San Francisco, and she knows how to do it. Wilsey Court is the first thing you see at the DeYoung Museum.

If you have ever lived with an especially toxic stepparent, you will ache for Sean Wilsey as he tries to find himself and connect with his father. Al Wilsey, though, can't help but like women better than he likes his own offspring. He doesn't care if they're rich or poor as long as they're hot. When Sean is bringing his father to life, he does a great job.

As another reviewer says, "[Wilsey] often seems to be writing with an open heart, and out of an open wound. If only a fraction of the stories he relates are true--he tells us that Dede routinely berated him for being a "faggot" when he was a boy--you will want to give him a hug."

And maybe suggest he get a job. Ahhh, but apparently he doesn't have to. While he is not as rich rich as Dad was, he's well-off himself, even without having written the hit job on his folks. You won't find this in the book, however.

Three stars. Great read.
blac wolf
This book is a great act of courage! Thank you, Sean Wilsey, for going on record with your experiences - the fallout once the book was published must've been tremendous. The stepmother-stepchild dymanic is one that needs further exploration, and this author records some things I've never seen in print before. In particular, the whole "blended family" concept needs further examination. The children of the father are often left out in the cold, and I'm not talking about money, but about the connectedness that's often hard to observe or measure. This is a classic tale of narcissistic parents and the damage done to a child. Children are at the complete mercy of their parents, and thank goodness this one found his voice and lived to tell about it.