Recommendation – “Easy Street The Hard Way”
Of the books I finished in 2015, one of the best was Ron Perlman’s biography “Easy Street The Hard Way” and there’s one overarching reason for that – the voice.
Perlman is a character actor who is known for his years in make-up (Beauty and the Beast, Hellboy), his later work on the entertaining but semi-loathsome Sons of Anarchy and just being a highly decent dude (if you haven’t seen the photo of Perlman in full Hellboy make-up hanging out with a Make A Wish kid in a hospital, you owe it to yourself). But the one constant in the man’s varied career is his voice. It’s deep and growly and reminds one of worn leather or damaged wood.
In his autobiography, Perlman somehow manages to infuse his growl into his writing. It’s a neat trick that carries the book through a lot of basic material – growing up rough, getting involved in theater, losing parents, falling in love – an elevates it when he gets to the good stuff. He’s vulgar and sweet in strange proportions and if you’re a fan of Perlman at all (and you should be. Seriously, “City of Lost Children” alone gets him on the list), the book reads just like you’d hope it would.
My one caveat is the truly odd intro but Guillermo Del Toro. I love Del Toro as much as the next buy, but man is that a weird intro.
“Easy Street the Hard Way” is a decent biograpy in an exceptional voice. If I ever write a character half as interesting as Perlman, I’ll consider myself lucky.