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

Although Jack Grisham is best known as the front man for SoCal hardcore phenoms TSOL, you won’t find out much about his musical endeavors in American Demon. Instead of going the typical biographical route of rehashing facts and dates, Grisham takes his memoir in an entirely different direction and looks back at his delinquent behavior. It’s a life littered with terrible violence, abuse, vandalism, chaos and more types of reckless behavior than you can count on your hands and toes. So extreme is Grisham’s penchant for destruction that American Demon is written under the premise that, to do the terrible things he did, he must be some kind of demon let loose to create havoc and mayhem on Earth. Of course, the real cause of his problems as an adult was a troubled childhood, complete with an alcoholic father. The steady stream of deplorable behavior may be too much for squeamish readers to handle, but there’s an element of redemption to this demon’s tale: Grisham, now 50 years old, 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.