Well, we tried.
Half of the essays from Kent Russell’s debut collection, I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son, are available online. And we wanted to share the links with you, because Russell is clearly an heir to David Foster Wallace and John Jeremiah Sullivan: his writing is ambitious, emotional, and chronically ambivalent about the contemporary American condition. You will love him. But in order to read most of his articles, you would have to subscribe to various publications.
There is ONE essay from I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son that is available online for free. In the book it’s called “Island Man,” but when it was originally published at The New Republic, it was (rather desperately) called “This Man Moved to a Desert Island to Disappear. Here’s What Happened.”
If you subscribe to Harper’s or n+1 you can read “Ryan Went to Afghanistan” online.
“Ryan Went to Afghanistan” Harper’s
If you subscribe to The Believer you can read “Mithradates of Fond Du Lac” online.
And if you subscribe to n+1 (or you want to purchase a Kindle single) you can read “American Juggalo.”
“American Juggalo” Kindle Single
There is also a free PDF of “American Juggalo” hosted by Columbia University’s law school. I don’t know if that’s legal? But here’s the link.
Anyway, we can’t fault Russell or his various publishers for charging us money. Russell’s writing is worth every penny. Maybe we need to suck it up and subscribe to magazines? Or just buy the book! Duh.
– Brian Hurley