Matt Forney
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Go Forth: A Journey South by Goldmund

go-forthGo Forth is the kind of book that makes me want to put my head through a wall.

I don’t mean that as an insult. Goldmund’s literary debut, a tale of debauchery and self-discovery, is an enthralling read. Go Forth is like being tossed into a roller coaster ass-first and clinging to the safety bar for dear life as you shoot through the loop-de-loops. Goldmund isn’t just a legit player, he’s a genuine literary talent, and reading this memoir makes me excited for whatever he puts out next.

But Jesus, this book is such a missed opportunity.

Go Forth is a fun book, but it displays the mistakes of a first-time author. While I enjoyed Goldmund’s tales of debauchery and sin south of the border, his poor pacing and other amateur errors suck the life out of his story. While this shouldn’t deter anyone from buying his book, don’t expect a masterpiece.

Go Forthas I mentioned earlier, is a memoir focusing on a trip Goldmund took to Mexico earlier this year. There’s not much in the way of organized plot: he simply recites his adventures as they come, journeying from New Orleans down to May-he-co and back again. Along the way, he does drugs, bangs girls and lives life like he’s going to the electric chair in six months:

After sleeping for an hour, I woke up to the Indian rubbing my cock. I flipped her over, slipped in raw, and we fucked hard and loud for an hour. Her legs were so flexible that I could push her knee into her mouth—that opened up her pussy deep and wide. My entire cock sunk into this girl as we half asleep, half drunkenly banged into oblivion.

Goldmund writes like a modern-day Kerouac, with a dash of Jim Carroll and Bradley Smith. His prose slides off the page like sheets of jizz off a porn star’s face, throwing names, places and notches at you in light-speed. Unlike Kerouac, Goldmund understands the value of paragraph breaks, so you won’t be throwing your Kindle out the window in frustration at multi-page blocks of text.

Some people might have difficulty believing Goldmund’s stories, but having seen him in action myself, I know he’s the real deal. Watching the guy work a bar is like seeing a time-lapse video of maggots feasting on a dead cow. The last time I hung out with him, Kid Strangelove and I watched him zero in on the only cute, single girl in the bar on a dead Monday night… and take her home.

The problem with Goldmund’s writing is that it’s a mile wide and an inch deep.

Go Forth takes you all over the map, plowing through Goldmund’s conquests and escapades, but it doesn’t go into depth in any particular place. He glosses over just about everything in the book, giving you a taste of what he’s done, but no more. While this gives the book a fast pace and keeps it from getting dull—I finished it in about a couple hours—it strips the book of poignancy and emotional impact:

Her hot, dressed-up friend insisted on coming back with us and was visibly upset. She was clicking her heels hard on the pavement and when I tried to tease her a little, she ignored me. We walked to a big apartment complex that outlined a large courtyard. My girl took me into a room and we got naked quickly. She asked if I had a condom and I took one out of my back pocket, slipped it on, and we banged.

I don’t expect a detailed description of every instance that Goldmund has stuck his dick in some broad, but all too often during Go Forth, I was wishing he’d flesh out certain girls or stories a bit more. The effect is like being dragged through a museum at top speed by a tour guide who clearly just wants to kick you out in time for his lunch break. The book would have benefited from another fifty pages of detail.

Additionally, there’s one obnoxious digression near the end of Go Forth that brings the momentum to a halt. About four-fifths of the way in, Goldmund gives his thoughts on being banned from a certain forum (unnamed in the book, but you can figure out who he’s talking about). Not only does it clash with the show-don’t-tell motif of the book, Goldmund comes off as a little gossipy and femme.

I can understand why he’d want to write about it, but it would have been best left as a blog post.

Aside from these issues and the occasional wonky phrasing (more a product of lax editing than anything), Go Forth is a stimulating tale of excess and adventure. Take it for what it is—the first book by a talented-but-undisciplined writer—and you’ll enjoy it.

Click here to buy Go Forth: A Journey South.

Read Next: A Dead Bat in Paraguay: One Man’s Peculiar Journey Through South America by Roosh V