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In the initial pages of Sell the Monkey, Galen Garwood is being urged to take a chance in life. This is just a microcosm of his life story, as taking chances and making moves was part of his genetic makeup. He was born and raised in Georgia. His mother, Ida, narrowly survived an accidental shooting. She began a courtship with an older gentleman named Sam. Galen would be the youngest of four boys. His parents eloping had been scandalous, leading to their leaving their hometown. The battle against alcohol for Sam led to the ending of his relationship with Ida. Ida would take the kids to a boarding house run by her mother. Ida’s nomadic ways and attempts at claiming her way in life led to her leaving Galen in an orphanage. The orphanage was a rough go for Galen, filled with maltreatment and malnourishment. Ida would come back to reclaim Galen and his brothers. Ida would bring excitement into the house with the retrieval of exotic animals as pets. The excitement would prove short-lived, as the animals would prove unable to be domesticated. A stable adolescence would prove untenable, as Galen would relocate with his mom, then father, then grandparents as time went by. The tumult caused by the constant changes, along with Galen’s sexual awakening, made for bumpy times in his young life. He would exhibit the same impatient tendencies as his mother as he traveled to Alaska, worked in bars, looked to get his college degree. College would prove challenging. Galen would travel to Japan with a friend, exploring the art of Asia along with a few drugs as well. Galen’s world would come more into focus as he accepted his homosexuality and embraced his love of art. He would make art for others but not relinquish his integrity if being asked to alter his work in any way. As years passed, he would spend time with others in the art world who were trailblazers and others more notorious. He would lose a brother to a disease with which he would eventually do battle later in life. Galen would prove his strength in facing his mortality as he had every battle in life: with courage.

Sell The Monkey is not your average autobiography. The title alone proves that, but don’t let that fool you. The narrative is strong, the retelling of a tough past done beautifully. The reader will be glad to be a passenger on a voyage of self-discovery and growth. An excellent autobiography and all around great read!

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 282 pages
Publisher Marrowstone Press
Publish Date 2018-May-05
ISBN 9780692084632 Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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