A Walk Across Dirty Water; and Straight into Murderer's Row
A rollicking no-holds barred memoir from journalist and musician Eugene S. Robinson that takes readers along through the story of his life.
“A weird rollicking ride” frames how author Eugene S. Robinson views his journey from a Brooklyn kid with decidedly offbeat punk rock proclivities to the realities of California hardcore and dark detours into shows, tours, drugs, porn, guns, MMA fighting, an Ivy League-esque education and his eventual entry into the US Defense industry just in time to see his boss dragged into Contragate.
Robinson’s writing mirrors his fighting style intensity, ferocity, and brutal truth. He knows exactly who he is and how he is perceived by the white people and white culture that surrounds him. Robinson challenges accepted norms. He fights against easy answers and safe passages. He says:
“No one who ever gets a life sentence for just about anything really expects it to last a lifetime. Even if the modifier is "without the possibility of parole." Hope springs eternal but there's always the undiscussed other option. The one where the fate is chosen, freely, and the protagonist has about as much interest in escaping as he does of being almost anywhere else at all. Which is to say: not at all.”
A Walk Across Dirty Water is Robinson’s memoir of growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s, playing in punk bands and touring the world during the eighties, taking a break to attend Stanford, and accidentally becoming a famous television personality in Germany.
"In the lineage of kids crashing through the chaos of 1970s New York City finding a voice in punk music and radical literature Eugene is like a possessed sprinter racing past the finish line into the unknown, the entire universe both at his heels and in his heart. His creative impulse is essentially his organic love emanating through all prisms of the human condition, from intellectual consideration to delirious anger. The man is a brilliant sun shower of inspired energy spraying the room. We can only wallow in the anointment."
Thurston Moore, London 2022
"Eugene Robinson is a great writer and I admire him. His imposing size and association with fight culture imply an overpowering personality, but uniquely among his peers, he is unafraid to risk vulnerability. He writes intelligently about fights and fighting of course, but for me he is most enlightening when he writes about life between blows: Frank accounts of aspirations in art or music, personal and societal relationships, his moments of fear or compromise, what he got wrong about a person or situation, what he misunderstood, what he endured. This introspection is rendered as clearly as a crisp left hook and that makes all the difference between limbic alpha-male yowling and the expression of a complete mind, artful, thoughtful, unafraid of itself and aware of its role in its own problems. Most writing, non-fiction included, buffers the writer from consequence with some kind of bullshit. The writer's voice keeps you at a distance with writerly devices, wordplay, echoes of received style or import. I have the luxury of knowing Eugene apart from his writing, and I am certain he is not bullshitting you."
Steve Albini, Chicago 2022
Foreward by Lydia Lunch
October 10, 2023