Hitler Saved My Life
Advertising legend Jim Riswold is a Big F****** Deal. Ask him, he’ll tell you. But when Riswold is stricken with leukemia and prostate cancer (a two-fer!), the freewheeling adman quits making commercials, and starts making art.
But not just any art—Hitler art. Mussolini art. Stalin-in-a-bathtub art.
This is not a sad cancer story. This is a molotov cocktail of raunch and heart and 18-gauge biopsy guns. This is a taboo-busting laugh riot, a raspberry blown straight at dying-guy preciousness and monsters of all kinds—cancer and world-historical bad guys included.
Be warned—contents of this book include: One profanity-spiked TEDx talk. Several very public, full-frontal dick picks. Two adorable children. Something called “Interferon Family Fun Night.” Jim Riswold leading a crowd of people in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to his oncologist.
Relentlessly funny, and scorchingly subversive, this is a bruised and bruising memoir—it is also tubed, scarred, stapled, and irradiated.
But here’s the secret: Jim Riswold, enfant terrible, the man Charles Barkley once called “a role model for morons,” is kind of a sweetheart. The wise-guy posturing is just a cover for his pulpy heart.
Another secret: This book isn’t about Hitler. It’s about the beautiful, stupid, gross, foolish, and fantastic things we’re willing to do for love and family and not-dying. It’s about a guy who, with due respect to Lou Gehrig, considers himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
Really, Jim Riswold owes cancer a thank-you. Thanks to cancer, his tombstone will no longer read: Here Lies That Guy Who Did That “Bo Knows” Commercial.
Now, it will say Here Lies the Guy Who Put Cancer in Its Place—and Mussolini on a Tricycle.
Once upon a time, Jim Riswold was poorly behaved creative director and partner at advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. For reasons entirely unknown to those who know him, he is considered a legend in the advertising world, responsible for celebrated Nike commercials featuring Spike Lee and Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and role models, Bo Jackson knowing things, Tiger Woods, some other stuff that sold a lot of shoes. Before his days as a glorified shoe salesman, he co-wrote Ulysses with James Joyce and singlehandedly won the Crimean War. These days he is a fake artist living in Oregon’s Portland with nobody. He has yet to contract typhus.