HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Razing of the Id / The Chrietzberg Chronicles: A Biography of Betrayal and Assassination of a Beautiful Friendship and a Battle Between Good and Evil
Author: Larry M. Binion
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
Language level: 5
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Older teens and adults
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Binion, Larry M. The Razing of the Id / The Chrietzberg Chronicles: A Biography of Betrayal and Assassination of a Beautiful Friendship and a Battle Between Good and Evil (published in 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). Larry Binion grew up in Wewoka, OK. The Razing of the Id/the Chrietzberg Chronicles is called an accelerated autobiography of certain years of Binion’s life as recounted to Jimmy, a quadriplegic boy whom Larry has met in a nursing home. It is slightly fictionalized. By way of explaining the title, the book says, “To raze something is to completely destroy it. The Id is the essence of life, the ego, and ambition. The Razing of the Id is, therefore, the total destruction of the will,” or in other words, the complete submission of the human will to God’s will. The author investigates scary Indian legends and experiences a lost love, all the while sharing his Christian beliefs with his friends through his words and his actions. It is a story about love, struggle, heartbreak, loneliness, trauma, grief, friendship, fun times, and ultimately victory in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Personally, I found the book a little disjointed and thus somewhat difficult to read. Part of this may be due to how Binion put it together. He says, “I first conceived The Chrietzberg Chronicles and The Razing of the Id as two separate stories, but they were so interrelated they could not be separated. After all, they are the story of my life.” It might have been easier to follow if it had been in some kind of chronological order, but then again maybe not. Also, the book is not for children. Several quick references to various kinds of sexual activity, including rape, masturbation, necking, making out, sexual abuse, “have-to marriages,” and homosexuality, are found. Larry keeps himself pure but “almost had sex.” As to language, some cursing (the “h” and “d” words) and a little vulgarity (the “s” word) occur, probably in an attempt to convey accurately the way in which his friends talked.
In spite of these potential drawbacks, there is a lot of beneficial material in the book. On one occasion, Larry is so depressed that, in spite of knowing that it is wrong, he buys a six pack of beer, drinks the whole thing, and wrecks his beloved car. He learns his lesson and determines never to drink again. Those who have experienced the loss of a person with whom they have been close, whether it was a first love, parent, friend, relative, or spouse can relate to Larry’s roller coaster ride of emotions, including pain, love, humor, friendship, hope, new beginnings and so much more. A glossary in the back of the book explains the Indian terms and slang expressions used by Binion his friends. The book is quite lengthy but might be a good choice for those going on a vacation, young adults, and readers who like to take their time.