Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227, Usa, www.microcosmpublishing.com
This memoir tells the story of Microcosm Publishing, it started out 20 years ago as a small zine distro and nowadays is a company publishing books. Of course it is not that easy. The author starts pre Microcosm with his upbringing in Cleveland and his abusive mother and a father hit early by a stroke – a happy childhood is something different. Then he finds punkrock and fanzines and his life goes another direction. From here on it is interesting to read about how he discovered things and how he built up his indie publishing company. That is if you are interested in these kind of narrative. And even if you are, unfortunately Biel is not the best story teller and on top of that deals with issues he had with co workers and (ex) girlfriends/wife and all this is so excessive detailed and of course one sided, it was a drag reading it and had not much to do with him living with Asperger’s.
In this book „accountability“ is a word that keeps poping up and it seems there is a whole new generation of kids coming up that are super, well, super what I don’t know. Super-PC? Nothing wrong in general with accountability of course, but in this context it becomes a farce sometimes. The subtitle of the book is „Building a successful life & business with Asperger’s“, it only was diagnosed in his early thirties and some of his reflections and „ahas“ are interesting. But looking at all the people and especially their behavior involved here, I’d say Biel would have hit in ca. 80 % of the trouble he ran in even without Asperger’s. I mean, which ex wife writes four zines about a failed relationship and who the hell wants to read about it? Biel keeps writing about „fans of the company“ maybe that gives a hint what kind of people are the fans and also the co-workers and ex-partners…. if this worked as a therapy, good. Otherwise it is indeed „A punk rock memoir of mistakes and self discovery“. If you are a fan of Microcosm, this could be very interesting unless you are not on Biel’s side of things…. I don’t know. Not knowing the author, this was in large portions no fun to read, but interesting to find out about the development of Microcosm. 220 pages, paperback, 14,95 $ (dolf)
[Trust # 180 September 2016]