An American Demon: A Memoir by Jack Grisham (ECW Press)

Although Jack Grisham is best known for fronting SoCal hardcore phenoms TSOL, you won’t read much about his musical endeavors in American Demon. Instead of rehashing facts and dates, Grisham takes his memoir in an entirely different direction, using it as a forum to look back at his delinquent behavior. It’s a life littered with violence, abuse, vandalism, chaos, and more reckless behavior than most people can possibly fathom. Grisham’s penchant for destruction is so extreme that American Demon is written under the premise that, to do the terrible things he did, he must be some kind of demon sent to create havoc and mayhem on Earth. Of course, the real cause of his problems was a troubled childhood, complete with an alcoholic father. Girisham’s antics may be too extreme for squeamish readers to handle, but there’s an element of redemption to this tale: At 50 years old, Grisham has quit his “demonic” ways and become a….wait for it…motivational speaker and hypnotherapist (although after reading American Demon, I’d say that Grisham’s one of people I’d least want to be hypnotized by). It may not be a pretty story, and it’s hard to sympathize with Grisham given his awful past, but his memoir is undeniably compelling and impossible to turn away from.