The Ticking Is the Bomb by Nick Flynn
A Memoir

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Synopsis

"A beautiful, intelligent book that renders pain both ordinary and extraordinary into art."—Susanna Sonnenberg, San Francisco Chronicle


In 2007, during the months before Nick Flynn’s daughter’s birth, his growing outrage and obsession with torture, exacerbated by the Abu Ghraib photographs, led him to Istanbul to meet some of the Iraqi men depicted in those photos. Haunted by a history of addiction, a relationship with his unsteady father, and a longing to connect with his mother who committed suicide, Flynn artfully interweaves in this memoir passages from his childhood, his relationships with women, and his growing obsession—a questioning of terror, torture, and the political crimes we can neither see nor understand in post-9/11 American life. The time bomb of the title becomes an unlikely metaphor and vehicle for exploring the fears and joys of becoming a father. Here is a memoir of profound self-discovery—of being lost and found, of painful family memories and losses, of the need to run from love, and of the ability to embrace it again.
 

About Nick Flynn

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Nick Flynn is the author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and The Ticking Is the Bomb. He divides his time between Houston and Brooklyn.
 
Published December 17, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 283 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ticking Is the Bomb

Kirkus Reviews

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Between his daughter’s imminent birth and his confrontation with the tortured, Flynn became lost—“Everyone, if they live long enough, will lose their way at some point”—and, above all, bewildered—“bewilderment of waking up, my hand on Inez’s belly, as the fine points of waterboarding are debated ...

Nov 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

About the book that begins to result from these experiences, Flynn writes: "Sometimes, if asked, I'll say that I'm writing about the way photographs are a type of dream, about how shadows can end up resembling us, and sometimes I'll say I'm writing a memoir of bewilderment, and just leave it at t...

Jan 14 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

PopMatters

And why don’t we simply look away?” Meanwhile, as Flynn becomes more devout in his study of torture, what’s going on in real life is that his girlfriend—named Inez in the book but in real life is actress Lili Taylor—is already pregnant.

Mar 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

Bookmarks Magazine

Norton & Company Product Description A dazzling, searing, and inventive memoir about becoming a father in the age of terror.In 2007, during the months before Nick Flynn’s daughter’s birth, his growing outrage and obsessio...

Jan 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

Book Forum

Nick Flynn's new memoir, The Ticking Is the Bomb, is by turns, and often simultaneously, self-reflective and socially charged.

Jan 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

Metro

US poet Nick Flynn has led a tough life: losing his mother aged 22, he drifted into a haze of self-medication, emerging the other side as a worker in a Boston homeless shelter where he first encountered his father, a drunk hobo with a criminal record.

Jan 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

The Paris Review

That said, I can’t say what poems I would have written if I hadn’t written the two memoirs, but I was writing poetry all along, in the shadows of those books, and I think that I’ve managed to sneak a lot of it into the memoirs.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Me...

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