Throughout his life, Harrison failed at so many things, flailing himself at every new career path that seemed promising, until one day, after drinking perhaps too many beers and dusting off his King James Bible, he stumbled across a passage about a lonely pelican, which burst into flame inside him. In a mad blaze of holy illumination, Harrison realized his dream. He would write a funny book.
This dream transforms his life beyond all comprehension, in which he becomes a signer of autographs, a giver of interviews, and a casher of checks "worth more money than my father had ever imagined any of us might see, this side of a drug-related felony." And yet, even as he gains the world, Harrison stands to lose everything that matters most: his family, his mind, his soul. This is a no-holds-barred look at the life of every ambitious human creature, whether you want to write books or make music, start a business or start a revolution.
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How Big Is He?
Harrison Scott Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious, Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father—a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, “a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas, and paved roads, and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: How to fight, how to work, how to cheat, how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers.”
Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir and winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, an honor won by writers like David Sedaris, Trevor Noah, Calvin Trillin, and others. Here is the universal story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsized role model, and a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.