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All The Wild Children: A noir memoir

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nominated for an ANTHONY AWARD. From the author of the critically acclaimed Moses McGuire crime series comes a brutally honest memoir. Raised in the 60's counter-culture, a teen in the 70's, and a father in the go go 80's. White boy in a ghetto high school. Guns. Drugs. Sex. Fatherhood. Heart warming, uplifting and tough. A life writ large. “Someday, this will read much b nominated for an ANTHONY AWARD. From the author of the critically acclaimed Moses McGuire crime series comes a brutally honest memoir. Raised in the 60's counter-culture, a teen in the 70's, and a father in the go go 80's. White boy in a ghetto high school. Guns. Drugs. Sex. Fatherhood. Heart warming, uplifting and tough. A life writ large. “Someday, this will read much better than it lived.” - LARK STALLINGS (1975) "Josh has done an incredible job with the hand life dealt him. I admire the hell outa that. All the Wild Children is simply Stunning." - KEN BRUEN "What is most remarkable about All The Wild Children isn't the rhythmic fleetness of it's earnest prose, nor the relentless pace, nor the fantastic nature of its plot, nor, even, the fact that it is all true. What is most remarkable is that Josh Stallings managed to survive malicious fate, addiction, and the belligerent idiocy of his youth, and somehow find some dregs of fortitude remaining that allowed him to put it all on the page with a rare degree of honesty; willingly admitting that truth is fleeting and that this is no more than his best recollection of the storms and what they left behind. Laughing in the face of brutal misfortune and epic poor judgement is a tonic. One that Stallings graciously invites us to imbibe with him. Drink up. God knows Josh did." - CHARLIE HUSTON


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nominated for an ANTHONY AWARD. From the author of the critically acclaimed Moses McGuire crime series comes a brutally honest memoir. Raised in the 60's counter-culture, a teen in the 70's, and a father in the go go 80's. White boy in a ghetto high school. Guns. Drugs. Sex. Fatherhood. Heart warming, uplifting and tough. A life writ large. “Someday, this will read much b nominated for an ANTHONY AWARD. From the author of the critically acclaimed Moses McGuire crime series comes a brutally honest memoir. Raised in the 60's counter-culture, a teen in the 70's, and a father in the go go 80's. White boy in a ghetto high school. Guns. Drugs. Sex. Fatherhood. Heart warming, uplifting and tough. A life writ large. “Someday, this will read much better than it lived.” - LARK STALLINGS (1975) "Josh has done an incredible job with the hand life dealt him. I admire the hell outa that. All the Wild Children is simply Stunning." - KEN BRUEN "What is most remarkable about All The Wild Children isn't the rhythmic fleetness of it's earnest prose, nor the relentless pace, nor the fantastic nature of its plot, nor, even, the fact that it is all true. What is most remarkable is that Josh Stallings managed to survive malicious fate, addiction, and the belligerent idiocy of his youth, and somehow find some dregs of fortitude remaining that allowed him to put it all on the page with a rare degree of honesty; willingly admitting that truth is fleeting and that this is no more than his best recollection of the storms and what they left behind. Laughing in the face of brutal misfortune and epic poor judgement is a tonic. One that Stallings graciously invites us to imbibe with him. Drink up. God knows Josh did." - CHARLIE HUSTON

30 review for All The Wild Children: A noir memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    This is simply put an incredible book and should be talked about by anyone who grew up in the sixties and seventies. You know from page one that the book is among the best you ever read. It is a story about growing up in the sixties on the peninsula south of San Francisco with two dysfunctional parents who were obsessed with finding themselves. Grade school was a hippy dippy free spirit world. Teenage years the kids were bussed with a handful of other white kids to tough urban East Palo Alto. Th This is simply put an incredible book and should be talked about by anyone who grew up in the sixties and seventies. You know from page one that the book is among the best you ever read. It is a story about growing up in the sixties on the peninsula south of San Francisco with two dysfunctional parents who were obsessed with finding themselves. Grade school was a hippy dippy free spirit world. Teenage years the kids were bussed with a handful of other white kids to tough urban East Palo Alto. The kids grew up in a hurry and ran wild at home. The story takes the reader through early dating through adulthood flashing back to childhood and to current day. I couldn't put the book down. Every page is rich in emotion. Every story is perfectly told. And boom, it is absolutely heartbreaking when he discusses his own wild kids. Apparently it is a true story, and it is amazing how well it's told and how much of his insides are laid bare in this 300 page journey. . I give this book the highest imaginable recommendation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Josh Stallings took the old adage, “write what you know” to heart and penned, “Beautiful, Naked, and Dead” and “Out There Bad” two amazing crime thrillers starring ex-marine turned strip club bouncer Moses McGuire. If you think that means Stallings has some experience with crime and shady environments you’d be right, but you’re not looking at the bigger picture. The McGuire novels aren’t just about noirish intrigues. They’re about a physically and emotionally scarred man trying to be better. Som Josh Stallings took the old adage, “write what you know” to heart and penned, “Beautiful, Naked, and Dead” and “Out There Bad” two amazing crime thrillers starring ex-marine turned strip club bouncer Moses McGuire. If you think that means Stallings has some experience with crime and shady environments you’d be right, but you’re not looking at the bigger picture. The McGuire novels aren’t just about noirish intrigues. They’re about a physically and emotionally scarred man trying to be better. Sometimes Moses stumbles and falls and he often pays the price for lousy decisions, but he gets back up and tries again. After reading Stallings new book “All the Wild Children,” a “noir memoir,” it’s clear that’s a struggle the writer knows an awful lot about. “All the Wild Children” opens with a series of time jumps that introduce us to the struggles Stallings faces with the family he made and the family he was born into. The writer keeps that format throughout the entire book. It’s a haunting, organic, and effective way to tell a very personal story. The book’s various chapters focus on a specific event or topic so you can see how these elements impact and resonate throughout Stallings’ life Despite the time jumps, “All the Wild Children” does unfold in a somewhat linear fashion. The early chapters of the book go back and forth between his childhood years and introduces us to a cast of eclectic, and vibrant characters, Stallings’ family. It’s here where his struggles begin because in the these opening chapters Stalling shows us that families can be both a source of soul crushing weakness and inspiring strength. The weaknesses come from Stallings’ parents who are fascinating characters. His mother and father love the writer and his siblings but they’re two very damaged and complex people, who can’t live together. They eventually split, but even divorced they’re not the best of parents. So Stallings and his brother and two sisters had to band together and almost raise each other. That bond that the Stallings kids form is the strength that the writer draws from his family. Because of that tight knit bond we get to know JoshStallingsStallings’ siblings really well, especially his older brother Larken who protects him, comforts him, and often gets him into loads of trouble. A lot of that trouble comes with Stallings and his brother hit high school. Ravenswood, the forcibly integrated Palo Alto high school they attend is a dangerous place in 1973. In this section of the book the writer gains some life long friends but is also exposed to a world of crime, drugs, and violence. This leads to some tense encounters with police and junkies, and explosive encounters with jocks. In one of my favorite chapters from this section Stallings recalls all the fun, chaos, and danger that resulted from his family opening a teen night club. You’ll learn about the many death threats the writer and his brother received as well the occasional fights that broke out on the front porch of the club. In the final portions of the book an adolescence full of fear, violence, alcohol, and drugs begins to catch up with Josh as he pursues his future wife and a career in entertainment. There are disappointments, funny insights into the movie business, brushes with fame, and alcohol fueled meltdowns including one that happens on the set of low budget action film being shot in Russia during the final days of Soviet rule. The other big element of the final portions of “All the Wild Children” is Stallings and his wife Erika’s struggles raising their two children: one developmentally disabled and suffering from a schizophrenic style disorder and the other who develops a dangerous drug addiction. These sections are harrowing and heartbreaking as the writer deftly recalls having to forcibly restrain his older son during many of his psychotic breakdowns and having to arm himself with a buck knife before searching for his missing younger son in a house of drug addicts. So when you add that all together you’ve got a powerful, exciting, and pretty inspiring read. “All the Wild Children” is a book that reads like an expertly blended cocktail of Stephen King’s “Stand by Me,” the drug fueled misadventures of Hunter S Thompson, the crime writing of George Pelecanos, and the wry, powerful, and often hilarious anecdotes of Henry Rollins. Plus it’s a true story about a guy fighting a never ending, extremely difficult, and ultimately rewarding battle; the battle to be a better person.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen Fowler

    I've been putting off writing a review of this book, because I just don't think any collection of words that I can come up with will do it justice. It's good, so very good that I'd like to take it home with me at closing time. It may be a memoir, but All the Wild Children reads more like a cross-genre novel (hints of literary, suspense, coming of age, etc.) Like Stallings' other books, the writing in this book is gut-punch powerful. The bit about the boys being home alone when (can't say...spoil I've been putting off writing a review of this book, because I just don't think any collection of words that I can come up with will do it justice. It's good, so very good that I'd like to take it home with me at closing time. It may be a memoir, but All the Wild Children reads more like a cross-genre novel (hints of literary, suspense, coming of age, etc.) Like Stallings' other books, the writing in this book is gut-punch powerful. The bit about the boys being home alone when (can't say...spoiler!) gave me rolling waves of goose-bumps that lasted damn near five minutes. Despite having a sh*tty lot-of-it as a child, Stallings isn't blaming anyone, so much as just telling it like it was. And brilliantly, I might add. I don't even know if that makes sense, but hopefully once you read this memoir you'll understand. One thing I loved is the way Stallings spins a phrase. There were several examples in this book, but the one I loved the most is the one that went something like "This will read better then it lived." Hell, I probably butchered that one too. So I'm yelling at you now-- go read All The Wild Children. Then check out the novels by Stallings. Your gray matter will thank you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alan Potts

    Wow. Best book I have read this year. Again, wow.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Bird

    I don’t read many memoirs – Chaplin’s auto-biography is grand, Bukowski’s work mind-blowingly good (though blurring fact and fiction), and Tobias Wolff interesting enough. I think the reason I don’t read more of them is that they don’t really grab me, which makes them a struggle and a challenge that I’m not prepared to take on. All The Wild Children is totally different. It has a quality to it that made it compelling for me from start to finish. In it, Josh Stallings tells his life story. It’s one I don’t read many memoirs – Chaplin’s auto-biography is grand, Bukowski’s work mind-blowingly good (though blurring fact and fiction), and Tobias Wolff interesting enough. I think the reason I don’t read more of them is that they don’t really grab me, which makes them a struggle and a challenge that I’m not prepared to take on. All The Wild Children is totally different. It has a quality to it that made it compelling for me from start to finish. In it, Josh Stallings tells his life story. It’s one hell of a story, I promise you that, with ups and downs and round-and-rounds that would have felled weaker individuals. His adult working life has been spent in cutting rooms, slicing and piecing together trailers for films. He clearly did it very well and some of his achievements you’ll recognise when you read them. This is relevant to what he’s done in the book. Somehow, he’s been able to see his whole life and then write it so that it cuts back and forth between the moments from the past and the present in ways that complement each other very powerfully indeed. He has the ability to forge links between events so that the bigger perspective can be seen. I found the style breathtaking and he had me riding through the book with a full range of my emotions fully engaged and occasionally over-spilling. It's seamless. I think that Josh is a natural born poet. I believe that any chunk of 200 words can be taken as a random sample and will give a line that will have the power to give you a physical reaction. I noted a few then decided I’d just rather go with the flow. Here are some of them in case you want a little taste: ‘Sometimes life is stranger than drugs.’ ‘There will be Quaaludes with Ingrid...there will be amyl nitrate poppers in gay discos...there will be acid with Tomas...there will be mushrooms with my father...there will be an ocean of whiskey. And at the end of it all, none of it will be enough to stop the pain in my gut. None of it will quiet the fire in my head.’ ‘In Golden Gate Park Janis Joplin is playing with Big Brother and the Holding Company.’ ‘Here’s the trick to winning a war. You just need to be willing to suffer more casualties than the other guy.’ ‘Booze flows through my youth like a river.’ ‘Childhood prepared me to be very good at moving. It’s staying put that I have to learn to do.’ I put these in to give a flavour of the book, but they can’t do it justice on their own. I saw myself in many of the stories (for me, it's my adult self, whereas Josh was only a kid). That helped make it interesting. I saw things that to me conjure up what I might once have described as heaven – the Janis Joplin thing, the Hollywood scene, the crime, the clubs and strip bars, the sex, the commune and the high-school battle-grounds, the drugs and rock and roll, the violence and the excitement of it all. Life for Josh Stallings was never dull. Why I would no longer think of such a life as heaven is the experience that has shown me that lows follow highs, that self-medication will eventually see you running on empty, that people need to be treated with respect rather than as accessories. Josh found the same, only he says it much better than I do. Read and learn. Read and learn. What is particularly poignant is the loop Josh takes when recounting his life as a father in relation to his family history and his own life. It’s amazing to watch on. Closest thing I can come to here is a book I read recently, The Outsiders. Something in the tone and the lifestyle of the boys growing up alone. There's something in the way simple language provokes a huge reaction and there's a tiny sharing of flavouts in parts of the voice maybe. Check it out and see if you can tell me what I mean by that – I’d be glad to hear from you. I was sorry to come to the end of this one. I miss my friend already. My friend in this book who has taken me on a journey with him. His voice was always interesting and entertaining. I’ve rarely felt so emotionally engaged with a collection of words. I did cry, and that really doesn’t happen often when I read books. I felt adrenaline pump, hid behind my imagination’s sofa, squinted, felt the pain and the joy and the bewilderment every step of the way. The pace and style of this makes it gripping and compelling reading throughout. Read this book if you need solace; if you love humanity; if you’re curious about the Sixties; if you want support; if you're broken and need help and inspiration; need to give up one of your crutches; or if you love fantastic stories. I could go on and know I shouldn’t. This read is brilliant. Josh wonders what he was supposed to be in life. What he was aiming for. I can tell him now. In terms of his creative self, he lived a life like he’s had so far in order that he could write this amazing memoir. Enough said. Sometimes 5 stars just aren’t enough.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Fantastic as it is bone cuttingly truthful. Lean, reaching forward from the past & back again, a new piece of shattered glass is revealed, sending us forward, again, and again. We emerge with a whole, a man, loving, a success as father, a husband, in work, in life- despite at times to all appearances he knows he is nothing, and been shattered so long there is probably no help of redemption. http://www.joshstallings.net Fantastic as it is bone cuttingly truthful. Lean, reaching forward from the past & back again, a new piece of shattered glass is revealed, sending us forward, again, and again. We emerge with a whole, a man, loving, a success as father, a husband, in work, in life- despite at times to all appearances he knows he is nothing, and been shattered so long there is probably no help of redemption. http://www.joshstallings.net

  7. 5 out of 5

    Keith Nixon

    I am a big admirer of Stallings' fiction novels and I didn't hesitate to buy All The Wild Children, even though I very rarely read autobiographical accounts. I'm very glad I did. It's incredibly open and honest. I also liked the fact that the process of telling his life story isn't linear, we bounce back and forward between a wiser 50 year old and his younger self, sounds annoying? Far from it, in fact this adds depth to an already highly colourful account. An excellent read. I am a big admirer of Stallings' fiction novels and I didn't hesitate to buy All The Wild Children, even though I very rarely read autobiographical accounts. I'm very glad I did. It's incredibly open and honest. I also liked the fact that the process of telling his life story isn't linear, we bounce back and forward between a wiser 50 year old and his younger self, sounds annoying? Far from it, in fact this adds depth to an already highly colourful account. An excellent read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hughes

    may well be one of the best things ive read. i dont read nonfiction at all, but after reading Stallings novels i had to give this a try and im glad i did. Very good book. Glad he shared this with the world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ian Ayris

    ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is a biography – a departure from Stallings’ novels but not by as much as you might think. In fact, if you came into the world of Josh Stallings blind you’d be hard-pressed to separate his novels from this incredible memoir. You see, Josh Stallings is not a writer sitting in his comfortable middle class apartment constructing a cast of drug-crazed, booze-fuelled, cut-throat characters living life on the edge of a knife, breathing in death and carnage, never knowing if they’ ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is a biography – a departure from Stallings’ novels but not by as much as you might think. In fact, if you came into the world of Josh Stallings blind you’d be hard-pressed to separate his novels from this incredible memoir. You see, Josh Stallings is not a writer sitting in his comfortable middle class apartment constructing a cast of drug-crazed, booze-fuelled, cut-throat characters living life on the edge of a knife, breathing in death and carnage, never knowing if they’re going to wake up in the morning and not giving a shit. This was Stallings’ life. And in ALL THE WILD CHILDREN, we get it all – told with breathtaking honesty and humility. Unlike many biographies, ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is not strictly linear in nature. Yes, there is a beginning and there is an end, but in between we cut between the fifty year old Stallings, back to the seven year old, up to the twenty year old, back to the four year old – sometimes all on one page. Here is an example from the beginning of the book: I am 5, watching my older brother Lark as he kneels to say his prayers, he is seven and my best friend. He speaks to Jesus. I think he must be faking it when he prays, because I am. Or maybe he really does hear God’s voice. Maybe God talks to him because he likes Lark better than me. I am 6, my folks are at each other again. Their screaming is part of the background noise of my life. Like traffic in the city only this noise you don’t get used to. I am 7, and my father is yelling at my mother. She screams back. I stand between them and rage, ‘You told me God doesn’t want us to fight, so why are you?’ Good Quaker logic I think. I’m thrown against the wall. My father’s hand on my throat. Pinned. I am 50, and I wonder why I still feel the grip of that hand. And on it goes. Hypnotic. Heart-pumping. Incredible. We watch as the boy Josh moves from a violently disordered household into a violently disordered world – the world of the sixties and early seventies, an era of change, an era of hope, an era of disintegration. Through it all, Josh makes some undeniably bad decisions, self-destructing before our eyes. Stallings puts us there, just off camera, watching this young man desperately trying to do what is right, yet destroying himself and those around him in the process. Through it all, through all the mayhem and the hurt, are Josh’s siblings – particularly his older brother – Lark. The Stallings children are the sort of children where, as Stallings says throughout the book – you mess with one, you mess with all. Against all the odds, Stallings survives. And survives is the word. The last part of the book brings us back to the waiting room at the psychiatric hospital. Stallings is now a husband and a father, a film editor in Hollywood. Yet the chaos and the heartache and the pain continues unabated. Having read the first two thirds of the book with my jaw hanging open, I read this last third on the edge of tears. There are two books I carry with me through my life – ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach. In ALL THE WILD CHILDREN by Josh Stallings, I have found a third. This book has changed my life. And this review, it barely scratches the surface.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ray Riddle

    I just finished Josh Stallings' "All the Wild Children" published by Snubnose Press. Halfway through the book I was thinking "He couldn't have picked a better name for it." Little did I know how right I was. There were more wild children to come. He jumps around a lot in the telling, going from when he's 50, to when he's 12 in the next paragraph and then he's eight. Somehow that adds to the story and keeps me going, wanting to see just how that eight year old survives everything that happens, to I just finished Josh Stallings' "All the Wild Children" published by Snubnose Press. Halfway through the book I was thinking "He couldn't have picked a better name for it." Little did I know how right I was. There were more wild children to come. He jumps around a lot in the telling, going from when he's 50, to when he's 12 in the next paragraph and then he's eight. Somehow that adds to the story and keeps me going, wanting to see just how that eight year old survives everything that happens, to be able, at 50, to look back and write it all down. He mentions something or someone to come in a sentence, but goes on to something else in the next paragraph, and I'm wondering just what he meant, or how that could possibly happen, taking all that's happened so far. So I move on, further and further. This is one of the best books I've read in a while, moreso because I know it's not fiction. While I know that his life and mine are nothing alike, I can't help comparing it to mine. The book is so good, written in first person, that I want to get further into it by putting myself there, in his shoes. In a way he makes it easy to do, describing all that he did, and explaining why he did it, and giving good descriptions of what was going on around him. But in another way, it isn't so easy, because my life was so different I can't help thinking that I might have reacted differently in those circumstances. Who can say? There is only one drawback. He mentions someone named Tad, who we haven't met yet, as his best friend in a sentence early on, then moves on. That's okay. I'm used to that. Later, he talks about meeting Tad. Afterwards Tad is his best friend. But he doesn't go into detail on what cements the friendship. Tad has his own band, Idiot, and assumably they are close. He goes into meeting Tomas and seals their closeness. I understand that. But it jumps from meeting Tad to being best friends, and as they are still best friends while he is 50 and writing the book, it leaves me wanting to know more. There are two parts to the book. The first is mostly about while he was a "wild child" and still growing up. The second part is mostly about being married and a father, and how his kids become "wild children" of their own. The first is memories of childhood. The second is learning the lessons life is trying to teach. There are times I was reading the book unbelievably, still knowing it all actually happened, other times laughing at something written or said, and still other times with tears in my eyes. As his brother Larkin said back in 1975, "Someday this will read much better than it lived." "All the Wild Children" is definitely worth a read. I'm sure it will be just as good, if not better, on the second read-through, since you know what is going on, what is to come, and can pick up a lot of things that are mentioned early on but not detailed. I plan to reread it very soon.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Mason

    I was mostly being polite. No, that's too bitchy-sounding. I'm not bitchy. I was being friendly. I was being reciprocal. Polite has never paid so good. I met Josh Stallings a few weeks ago and to say that he struck me as a singularly lovely person feels like damning him with faint praise. I spoke with him for maybe fifteen minutes over the conference weekend, but he left an impression, both of his own and of kindness towards other writers. He's cool. His personality edges out past his aura, maybe I was mostly being polite. No, that's too bitchy-sounding. I'm not bitchy. I was being friendly. I was being reciprocal. Polite has never paid so good. I met Josh Stallings a few weeks ago and to say that he struck me as a singularly lovely person feels like damning him with faint praise. I spoke with him for maybe fifteen minutes over the conference weekend, but he left an impression, both of his own and of kindness towards other writers. He's cool. His personality edges out past his aura, maybe protecting that aura a little bit; a Russian nesting doll of warmth, enthusiasm, probably some hurt, and definitely some wisdom. You can tell that right away. He said he liked my book. So I bought his most recent book. I just finished it. All the Wild Children might be the best memoir I've ever read. I hope this recommendation gets somebody who reads this to go straightway to get the book, but let's get something out of the way, so that it doesn't come back on me later: In places, it's bawdy. In lots of places, really. Josh Stallings has very little trouble typing the sentences the way they come to him. There's cussing. There's sex. There's drug use. There's violence. But you won't catch me calling any of it profane, because it's beautiful and it's also beautifully honest. I loved this book. Where you can identify with Stallings and all that he has done and all that he's seen (so far) and all that he's felt about those things, you will be either delighted or devastated. Where you can't identify, where adventure and heartbreak has taken him but not you, Josh Stallings' way with words and candor will make you think you almost can. It's not a wallow. It's everything but. What I value very most in reading is a scratch to my greedy itch. I want more life. Josh Stallings gets that and makes a gift of his own experience. I'm a little bit wrecked this morning over it, but so, so grateful. I am utterly lucky to have crossed his path with a little money in my pocket and room for one more book in the suitcase. This book is brilliant and I can't recommend it enough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Raw and uninhibited. Josh Stallings, in his memoir doesn’t shy away from his demons – he confronts them head on. Like Ellroy’s MY DARK PLACES, Stallings writes a brutal truth that’s honesty is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. Noir in life has a power not captured in fiction (though some filters through into Stallings’ books) that’s a shade darker and more complex than its fictional counterpart. ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is a perfect example of using pain and turning it in to love. I found the re Raw and uninhibited. Josh Stallings, in his memoir doesn’t shy away from his demons – he confronts them head on. Like Ellroy’s MY DARK PLACES, Stallings writes a brutal truth that’s honesty is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. Noir in life has a power not captured in fiction (though some filters through into Stallings’ books) that’s a shade darker and more complex than its fictional counterpart. ALL THE WILD CHILDREN is a perfect example of using pain and turning it in to love. I found the recollections of Stallings childhood confronting, evocative, and much like a movie though more cinematic and vividly violent. ALL THE WILD CHILDREN allows the reader to delve inside the mind of a man who has lived noir. Ultimately I gained further appreciation of Stallings achievements through his struggles in childhood to his demanding and difficult fatherhood experiences. There are elements in his crime writing that bleeds raw emotion, reading ALL THE WILD CHILDREN, we as a reader community get to see where that originates from. This review also appears on my blog with additional content: http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspo...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Venus Smurf

    This was an absolutely unique and wonderful book. The writing style is certainly different, but while the fact that it was all over the place would normally bother me, this was pulled together so brilliantly that I loved it. It's funny, blunt, entertaining, and completely enthralling. Amazing book. This was an absolutely unique and wonderful book. The writing style is certainly different, but while the fact that it was all over the place would normally bother me, this was pulled together so brilliantly that I loved it. It's funny, blunt, entertaining, and completely enthralling. Amazing book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Owens

    Damn powerful writing. A memoir that reads like a novel, in the sense that it sucks you in. Highly recommended read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana Stallings

    Surreal and dreadfully painful. I know this wonderful man. Josh Stallings, my brother in law. Never my ex-brother in law. I’m here to tell you that he is the most loved and loving human being on this earth. Erika, his icing on the cake. She is one admirable woman and one hell of a wife and mother. After reading this book, can you believe me? These 4 siblings went through hell - somethings I knew, a lot that happened before my time, I didn’t. But, I love them all. That is their common denominator Surreal and dreadfully painful. I know this wonderful man. Josh Stallings, my brother in law. Never my ex-brother in law. I’m here to tell you that he is the most loved and loving human being on this earth. Erika, his icing on the cake. She is one admirable woman and one hell of a wife and mother. After reading this book, can you believe me? These 4 siblings went through hell - somethings I knew, a lot that happened before my time, I didn’t. But, I love them all. That is their common denominator - Love and caring for each other.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Benoit Lelièvre

    There is something inherently messed up about assigning a number of stars to a man's life. Please know that the minor quarrels I have with ALL THE WILD CHILDREN are with the form, rather than the content. The non-linear aphorisms are pleasant to read, unpretentious and the best substitute of a memory you can find, yet their sheer number make the back and forth sometimes difficult. I don't know if the title 'a noir memoir' is really pertinent, here. The Stallings were the first children of post-wa There is something inherently messed up about assigning a number of stars to a man's life. Please know that the minor quarrels I have with ALL THE WILD CHILDREN are with the form, rather than the content. The non-linear aphorisms are pleasant to read, unpretentious and the best substitute of a memory you can find, yet their sheer number make the back and forth sometimes difficult. I don't know if the title 'a noir memoir' is really pertinent, here. The Stallings were the first children of post-war children, born in a world without rules and traditions. There is something greater than a literary genre, to read the memories Josh Stallings scrapes off the drawers of his life. It's not pretty, often wild and crazy and yet you can't deny the power that this process generates. Josh Stallings lived through more than you could possibly go over three lifetimes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I received this book for free from the goodreads first reads giveaways. All The Wild Children will take you for a wild ride. Author Josh Stallings narrates memories from his childhood in this memoir. It is real and raw, you can't make this kind of shit up. The flashes from present day to various moments in his childhood are wrought with sex, drugs and anger with various music scores being played in the background. Very oddly inspirational and moving. I received this book for free from the goodreads first reads giveaways. All The Wild Children will take you for a wild ride. Author Josh Stallings narrates memories from his childhood in this memoir. It is real and raw, you can't make this kind of shit up. The flashes from present day to various moments in his childhood are wrought with sex, drugs and anger with various music scores being played in the background. Very oddly inspirational and moving.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rory Costello

    Josh Stallings lays it all bare here. This is one nakedly emotional book. It's rollicking and funny at times, but mostly you feel his ache. It's very deep. The construction is a little helter-skelter. I was reminded of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five in that Stallings' memories keep on coming "unstuck in time" -- he flashes backward and forward to various points in his memory. But it works well, and you won't forget the story he tells. Josh Stallings lays it all bare here. This is one nakedly emotional book. It's rollicking and funny at times, but mostly you feel his ache. It's very deep. The construction is a little helter-skelter. I was reminded of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five in that Stallings' memories keep on coming "unstuck in time" -- he flashes backward and forward to various points in his memory. But it works well, and you won't forget the story he tells.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mysticpt

    wow, what a ride. I do not read a lot of non-fiction either, but a noir memoir is a great description. more happens in this book than in many books of fiction. both easy and hard to read all at the same time, if you know what I mean. wild times, good times, tragedy, but I think by the end, some hope as well. enjoy!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Leffel

    Fantastic read, Josh can weave any storey into a tragically beautiful tapestry that the even when it takes you out of your comfort zone you can't stop reading! Fantastic read, Josh can weave any storey into a tragically beautiful tapestry that the even when it takes you out of your comfort zone you can't stop reading!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristeen Huey

    Beautiful, rough, full of hard and deep truths. Feel a little beat up from riding the crashing waves of his story. A deep ache from a good life that I had the pleasure to witness.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anton

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  25. 4 out of 5

    Darin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim Lockfeld

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terri Schuler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mario Salas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cunningham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jules Fry

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