Go Ask Ogre: Letters from a Deathrock Cutter
By: Jolene Siana
Go Ask Ogre is a collection of letters that the author wrote to the front man of the band Skinny Puppy, Ogre, when she was just a teenager. It was a time in her life that was wrought with pain and sadness, not only dealing with growing up, but with her mother’s abuse and her own need to cut herself. Not thinking that she would ever get a reply, but hoping too, Ogre writes back one day. This letter, on his wishes, was not included in the book, but by Jolene’s reply, you can tell it meant a lot to her to know that someone was reading her thoughts and words.
As time goes on, she forms a deeper relationship with Ogre when she gets to meet him at various shows, even having Ogre tell her to keep writing if she needed too and that he’d send her letters back one day. Jolene continues her trek through life, soon going off to an art school for college, still dealing with various trials and tribulations. Her anchor and hope seems to come from the pages she can write on. It was a way for her to pour out her soul and then to send it away, hoping that someone would read and care about what she had to say.
True to his word, Ogre ended up sending her all her letters back, even including ones that he had never opened. From those collections of letters and notebooks, Jolene sorted through them and formed what would become Go Ask Ogre: Letters from a Deathrock Cutter, which also includes copies of some of the actual letters, pictures, and more.
Go Ask Ogre was an intense and emotional read, but beautiful in its own way. The letters are very real and make you feel the author’s joys and pains as you read along. It’s very obvious that writing to Ogre and just the world of music in and of itself helped Jolene make it through the rough times in her life and come out on the other side a terrific person. This book is a great read for anyone who wants a look at a life that was saved in what may seem like odd means, but will resonate with most people anyway.
Go Ask Ogre needs to be seen as what it is, however, and that’s a book that was written through darker times and without the knowledge the author holds now. It’s not preachy or annoying. It’s a story that makes you think and makes you wonder. You’ll find yourself agreeing with her and disagreeing with her, but no matter what, you’ll all be cheering at the end.
Review by: Lauren