Flynn's father was a would-be great American novelist, con man and, eventually, homeless person. Flynn was a shoplifter who later worked for drug runners. When wayward son and estranged patriarch reunited years later at the Boston homeless shelter where the younger man worked, it inspired this raw, mordant memoir that avoids the therapy-session tone of many a lost-boy tale: "Every six months for the first five years of my life we moved, but all within the same town, like we each had one foot nailed to the sidewalk." Painfully honest and funny, Flynn shows more than he tells, leaving the reader to decide whether the son simply became the father or succeeded in fulfilling the old man's dreams. This book may be proof that he did both.