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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

I’m not afraid anymore!’

 
 

Maccaulay Culkin has come a long way from being Kevin McCallister, the “Home Alone” kid this generation knows so well. As child stars often do, Culkin attracted an enormous amount of fame and then retreated from the spotlight. Now 25, he has reentered the adult world with new acting jobs and his first book, “Junior,” a semi-autobiography complete with a couple of stick-figure doodles. It’s a book full of sporadic, somewhat creative notions, but its incoherency makes it a difficult read.
“Junior” is many things, including the name of Culkin’s alter-ego. There is no plot or continuous storyline. Instead, “Junior” the book is a collection of essays, lists, thoughts, and life experiences, all taken from Culkin, or Junior’s, collective imaginations. The book is sold as an exploration of Culkin’s psyche, which implies a free-flowing, self-conscious, art-for-art’s sake style.
The thing this book is missing, though, is unity – one culminating idea that ties everything together. Just because a brain can think creatively doesn’t mean it promises the same experience for others when all those thoughts are written down. An autobiography, even a semi-one, should take extra care in inviting the reader to be a part of the author’s world. It’s alright to be disjointed and exploratory, but Culkin’s downright aimlessness is very taxing for readers.
The piecemeal, staccato nature of Culkin’s organization makes reading “Junior” feel like driving in stop and go traffic. Culkin will start a story, may or may not finish it, and then the next sentence will be a rhyme or tongue twister. The only parts that feel connected are the endings. There are several, and each one makes sense in itself. These are the most concrete and satisfying sections of the book. After jumping through and in and under Culkin’s mind, it feels nice to have something solid.
However, “Junior” is not all bad. First, Culkin is not a terrible writer. He’s not a great writer, but then again, he disavows his writing abilities in the introduction. At least the reader is forewarned. He is funny in places, a little boring in others, but he’s also casual and emotionally even-keeled.

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