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“Book Review: A Room With No Windows by Scott H. Bourne”

As a kid I was always looking for what type of trouble I could get into, and as an adult I’m always amazed that I made it out alive.  Following the skateboard culture pretty closely, which is completely different than what it is now, pages of Thrasher Magazine were filled with outcasts, rebels, and a long list of people that didn’t fit in.  One of the most interesting and inspiring characters from that time was a young skateboarder and artist, Scott Bourne.  Known in my group for his wild skateboarding almost as much as his rebellious attitude, he was a favorite amongst my peers.  He seemed, through those pages, like one of us.  A poet trapped inside a pirates body.  He seemed like, just like us, he was just too smart to only be a skateboarder, he was an artist, not only on board, but in his life.

After school I visited the San Francisco area, which at the time was a skateboard mecca.  I wondered the streets of San Francisco by foot, miraculously stumbling upon the spots I had only seen in print and in video.  Walking down Haight street, past the infamous FTC skate-shop, I saw Scott walking towards me.  A wide eyed kid, and admittedly pretty shy, I noticed him by his prominent throat tattoo that said “friendship”, as a huge fan I did what any other fan would do, smiled and nodded a friendly hello, as if we had been friends that somehow grew apart and lost touch, to which he also smiled, nodded and went upon his way.

Years later, I found out that my childhood intuition was absolutely right.  He was a writer, and a poet.  With a list of published poetry and works, this year for Christmas I finally received his book, A Room With No Windows.

Based upon real experiences, feelings and emotions in his own life, much of the story contained within the pages happened upon the same streets I too, wondered upon.  A book built around an actual room with no windows, this narrative not only brings you into that room, but out if it as well, following close behind him on the streets of San Francisco, where not only pain and suffering are felt, but joy and triumph. I learned through the book that many of those streets I wandered upon weren’t as safe as I thought they were, but also that each step I took upon the concrete contained the real life stories, feelings and harsh emotions captured between the covers of this amazing tale.

The book is set in San Francisco and tells the accounts of a young man coming into his own.  With one foot in the wild and crazy life of his youth, and another foot into the beautifully tragic world of being a lover, a writer and a man.  This tale follows Scott through every scheme, heartbreak, scam, and sentiment he must have crammed into his body.  A Room With No Windows is a narrative that you can almost feel yourself falling into as if you were the one recounting the life.  If your own existence doesn’t share some similarities and your own past isn’t reignited while digesting it’s words, then perhaps you haven’t truly lived.

Deeply erotic, Scott lives an admittedly wild life, and starts to find himself through relationships that he never through imaginable, and through passionate sex that becomes more important and deeper than just a physical act between two people.  This story stokes the fire of emotions that run deep in all of us, reminds us of the seemingly unbreakable friendships of our youth, and points us directly to the realities that bring us into the people we are now, with or without those friends.  A definite must read for all dreamers, poets and travelers.


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