A Masque of Infamy
by Kelly Dessaint
A Masque of Infamy is a horrific and raucous story of teenage rebellion. But instead of "What d'ya got?" fifteen-year-old Louis Baudrey knows exactly what he's fighting against…
After moving from Los Angeles to small town Alabama in 1987 with his father, his younger brother and this guy Rick, a friend of the family, Louis tries to fit in at the local high school, but the Bible-thumpers and the rednecks don't take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and burgeoning punk attitude.
At home, he defies the sadistic intentions of Rick, who rules the household with an iron fist. As Louis begins to lose all hope, he stumbles upon indisputable proof that will free him and his brother from Rick's tyranny. But just when he thinks his troubles are over, he's locked up in the adolescent ward of a mental hospital, where he must fight the red tape of the system to realize his dream of being a punk rocker.
I haven't reviewed many autobiographical works, so I was very interested in starting with A Masque of Infamy! The story is about Louis, a young boy who moves cross country to Alabama. From there, we are given an inside look to what becomes Louis's coming-of-age story. From bouts with abuse to living the punk rock life - it's all about this young boy becoming someone, despite his circumstances.
The humor in this book can make one forget that it is, after all, based on a true story. Regardless, the humor is enjoyable and the story is harrowing. Anyone who is interested in autobiographies and coming-of-age stories will surely enjoy this read. I know I did.
About the Author
Kelly Dessaint was born and raised in Los Angeles. At fifteen, he moved to Alabama, where he ended up in state custody, an experience documented in his autobiographical novel A Masque of Infamy. After graduating from the University of Alabama, he lived and traveled across the country, working odd jobs and gathering material for the stories he has published under various pseudonyms in small press magazines and his zines, Vagabond Review and Piltdownlad. In 1998, he founded the publishing company Phony Lid Books, which released titles by numerous prominent small press authors. He lives in LA with his wife and three cats.
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