Michelle Cruz Gonzales’ The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band [Book Review]

PM Press, 2016.


This book review’s going to be pretty basic and blunt because
Gonzales’ book has over 25 reviews linked from the PM Press author profile. It is unlikely that this review will address anything new, witty, or brilliant. I seek to be like Gonzalez, though, in that I’ll be authentic.

The memoir’s most important essence is its honesty and authenticity. Unlike other punk rock, rock, or celebrity-driven memoirs, journals, or correspondence collections, Gonzales did not go off in a macho attempt to prove how awesome she was or all the things she did. Instead, we have a series of vignettes that center primarily on her emerging identities and relationships. These are not normally big draws for me as a reader; however, after I put the book down twice over a period of three months, I kept coming back to it. I don’t often do this.

I came back to and completed the book because of her voice. It resonated. It felt real, like I could trust her. Our era inundates with shallow performances, endless political and economic spectacle, and addiction to dog turd personalities. Unlike that sepia-toned shellac, Gonzales reads real. Stark contrast. Genuine. Feels like: This is me. This is what I did with my friends. Here were some of the costs and some of our achievements. I learned a lot.

Some of the development is scant. Some of the chapters could be thickened. Sure. But I prefer this, where there’s rather an absence of scat than an ego-bloated biography seeking punk point sainthood.
Definitely readable. Solid voice. Want to read more of her work.