Few writers have seen their words blamed for obscenity trials, White House shootings, and triple suicides, but fuck all you other writers—I’m a unique case.
I get into more trouble than anyone I’ve ever met. So as I sat for nearly two-and-a-half years locked in a cell, I put pencil to paper and tried to figure out why.
Shit Magnet, written entirely while incarcerated, is a full-length forensic investigation into why so much shit flies my way. It examines what happens when two worlds—Jim Goad and Planet Earth—collide.
The book’s central theme is GUILT: how it’s a uniquely human idea, and whether this raises us higher or drags us lower than other animals; how guilt is disabling and why individuals and societies tend to scapegoat; how the act of blaming the enemy and slaying him is history’s propulsive force; and my miraculous ability to redeem others by absorbing guilt from them.
This is not an autobiography, although I use vignettes from my personal life to illustrate its theme. I go all the way back to my mischief-ridden childhood and how the idea that I’m “evil” was imprinted upon me at an early age. I cover all the violence in my life, both domestic and with complete strangers; all my major literary scandals; the situation that led to my imprisonment; and the fun ‘n’ glory of prison life. Through it all, I look for reasons why I get into so much trouble and why the shit always sticks to me.
The ones who get blamed are often not the guiltiest. And despite outward appearances, I just might be the nicest guy on earth.
—Jim Goad, Author