Don’t bother looking for this book, unless you need toilet paper. One of my friends in the Facebook group Alaskan Bush People Exposed, Georgie Eggleston, had one hell of a time finding a copy. After weeks of trying, she finally got a library to have a copy shipped in. Let’s give Georgie a big round applause for taking one for the team and subjecting herself to what must surely be the most difficult book to read.
What follows is a series of posts from Georgie that chronicles her horrific journey as she reads “One Wave At A Time” By Billy Brown. She was gracious enough to allow us to post her review so that others may be spared. Thank you, Georgie.
I called the library today to see if they have One Wave at a Time and LOL they had no copy and neither do the branches even remotely close to me. The librarian says it looks like a really hard to find book so they are gonna see if they get a copy from someplace else for me… They will let me know. And I live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle and found it weird it seems to be no where to be found nearby.
One week later:
I just got an email from the library and they have finally found a copy of One Wave at a Time for me. There were only 4 in the country available in the system. Took them over a week to get it. I am going to stop by and pick it up today. Don’t know if it will make me laugh or make me mad. Prolly some of both.
The reading begins:
Evening folks. Picked up my OWAAT book from the library. I live in Washington State and it was shipped to here from Florida. That was the closest copy library system had.
Anywho… Started reading today and in the first chapter or so Billy is blah blah blah’ing about his mistreatment by family and the system after his parents were killed in the accident. I seriously doubt the system would have let all these other people take his family’s home, business, etc. I think he just fucked it all up when he didn’t get anything. More BS… So he is talking about his sad pathetic life having to work for a living. Then one day he goes to this house in the middle of nowhere and he can tell the people that live there are piss poor with nothing and didn’t want to charge them for plumbing he was coming out to do. THEN he saw “her”… The most beautiful young woman he’d ever met.
So that is where Ami lived. Ummmm didn’t MeMaw have a pretty good job in public service or something? She could not have been that poor. So he sees this 14 year old girl who is beautiful, marrying her soon after to start a life. Not one word about 1st wife, Twila, etc.. He is an asshole and I have so much more to read.
Moving up here… OK I’ve now read about 1/2 the book. This darn book jumps all over the place and hard to follow the story line. I have learned that Ami is a Pepsiholic. The book is all about Billy and I mean that in a narcissistic way. He seems to run off constantly with someone or another leaving Ami and the kids behind to do stuff just for him. Then as he winds down his adventure it is almost like a footnote where he says, “Ami was now 8 months pregnant with our 4th, 5th , 6th etc child.” During the years where Matt was about 9 or so he makes these kids do some terribly dangerous things. He puts all of them at risk all the time. Uproots them from cabin to tent to a camper to a boat to another cabin, etc. And he never pays for anything. He did use PFD funds to buy land in Haines. But people give him stuff and helped him constantly ALL the time based on his OWAAT stories. He has never been independent doing this shit on his own. Just like in the show, he constantly fucks up and he finds some unsuspecting dolt to bail him out. He is the biggest con man I have ever heard of.
Read a few more chapters today on this epic failure of a book that makes no sense at all and mostly is a “Hey, look at me” diatribe about Billy. This won’t make much sense, but understand, the book doesn’t make sense either.
After Billy meets up with gold miners he returns to his home he built and land only to find the house caught fire and burned while he was away. Something about a flue fucking up…”Oh no why is this happening to me?” Of course all about Billy. Not what about my bazillion kids or my wife… But him.
They are all safe except the dog Ami tried to save while he was chained up outside and that is how she burned her arm. Third degree burns it turns out. I think she was pregnant again. No concern by Billy. Neighbors show up with a trailer to live in, good, clothes, wood etc so they could rebuild. How many times does Billy have to rebuild? I think this is shelter/house/cabin number 5.
Fast forward…Billy is confronted by a 1,500 lb bear who he seems to waltz with for like ever before he finally takes it down. “The kids and Ami watched the whole thing through the window looking down admiringly at me. I was basking in my macho glory.” Not long after he was head to head with a moose…blah blah Mr. macho crap again.
Billy is determined to rebuild the house better than ever. He wants to give his family a Rockwell Christmas more than anything. Blah blah blah… Lots of machismo from this hot air balloon of a man about all his hard work to make this perfect home with 5 upstairs bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, blah blah blah. This is his dream for a Rockwell Christmas.
Someone else shows up at his property to give him yet another boat. The man had just gotten a settlement VA check and bought the nicest boat in the harbor and decided Billy should have it. Billy can pay when the next PFD check comes in. Why in the hell would this man have spent this settlement money on a boat, then turn around and sell to Billy at a bargain price? Oh yeah, it’s all BS.
In the meantime Billy is starting to write these children’s stories and the boys are drawing cartoons for them. He takes them to a guy in Haines and reads him the books for 4 hours. The guy says, “In my opinion I think I am talking to the next Disney.”
The mansion of a house he built and dreamed of is finally ready the first of December. He wants to wait till Christmas Eve to move the family in and surprise them with decorations, a tree, all the trimmings For the Rockwell Christmas. On December 2 he gets word someone in Seattle liked the books.
Egotistical Billy doesn’t need to hear another word. Dec 22 he announced to the family that their next adventure is about to start. Walked away from this home. Didn’t even fucking wait a week to have a family Christmas. Loaded all they could onto their new boat and set sail for Juneau. Oh and Ami is pregnant with yet another baby but no real mention. There is more narrative about the length, height, strength of a wave twisting him to and fro on a Goddamn boat than how those kids and his pregnant wife are doing. He is a certified narcissist.
Finally finished the last few chapters of this book. If this had been back in 7th grade I am sure I would have gotten a D- for Reading Comprehension ’cause I could not follow the story and had to back track a bit but here goes.
When we left off (according to Billy) he had just completed the rebuilding of his perfect home and was told he was the next Disney according to someone in Haines who read his books and Billy decided 3 days before Christmas his family needed to pursue their next adventure. No mind they finally had a home, land, a boat, food, and were settled. No not good enough for narcissistic Billy, he wanted to leave it all behind. They spent the winter in Juneau trying to sell books but didn’t bring in enough money so they went back to Haines but decided not to move back into their home. Ami is now preggers with #7.
They chose to live on the boat and try and turn their books into CDs. But, they had no money (what else is new) and books were too expensive to print. They opted for CD sales and Billy would record the book. But they needed blank CDs and a designed insert. Yup they found another sap in Haines who designed the insert for FREE and now headed for Ketchikan. Ami continued to homeschool and as the older ones completed their studies, they would take over teaching the younger ones. The older ones study Latin and the older ones learned to read Egyptian petroglyphs and sign language. (Cough bullshit cough).
Macho Billy is face to face with a killer whale staring into his eyes. The whale knew Billy didn’t mean harm and eventually left him alone. Six pages of bullshit how Billy is a master sea captain.
Ami has another baby. They still needed money. They found another mark who offers them for FREE to use his recording studio and Billy records 3 of the stories. They found another mark to give them $40 to buy blank CDs and burn them.
Billy goes into Ketchikan to sell his CDs BUT OH NO! The DAGGUMMIT GUBMINT says he can’t do that. He needs a business license and his own space. Billy complains “Pay rent? Are you kidding?” Complains they are poor people and is sickened the GUBMINT suggests such a thing as business licenses, sales tax and permits. He was sickened! (How dare they).
Blah blah he sent his kids out to talk some sap into giving them for FREE space in his store to sell the CD’s. Life was perfect until… The dang coma happened. Life or death. At the hospital, the doctors said they could not come into the ER, etc. and would have to wait outside. The boys refused and told the doctors and security they would not leave Da’s side. Since this is Alaska the doctors understood and let them stay.
I call fucking BS. The Browns don’t think they have to live by any rules because they are family and live in the WILD, making them above the law, as we all know how that turns out.
Blah blah. Airlift to Seattle. 11 days later back at his boat. Slow recovery.
The boat had no motor and was stranded at the docks. They found an old airport shuttle and turned it into bunks and lived in it for several months in campgrounds. And you know what? The campgrounds wanted to charge him for staying there. Appalling, huh?
Eventually they notice yet another kindhearted person who Billy gives his sob story to with his illness and all, so they just happen to have an extra cabin they can live in for FREE. Shocker! A few months later Billy’s pipe dream takes him out of Alaska and into the lower 48 for them to panhandle their CDs and grift from state to state squeezing what they can out of church goers, locals and crying the pity me game for support.
And guess what? They run into a lady at a Toys R Us store who just happens to have an old motor home they can have for their tour if they help pick oranges. It seems her employees didn’t show up. Does this story sound familiar? Kinda like the junkyard guy who happens to have a motor home they could use?
The book sums up with some Billy-isms including the, “silent hierarchy of common values that begins and ends with the words ‘personal responsibility’. Each person must be responsible in all they do.”
Whewwwwwwwww! Do I dare read The Lost Years or should I let it go?
Can you believe how annoyed he was when officials in Ketchikan told him he could not street sell without a license or a rented space and h complains……Pay rent? He has such a sense of entitlement, it annoys the hell out of me. I forgot to mention in the book report… There toward the end, some older guy with a bigger boat approached him and offered to trade the larger boat for his non-working boat cause the guy and his wife didn’t need that big of a boat anymore so wanted to give it to Billy. Where the hell did Billy find all these people to give him stuff for FREE all the time. And I do think he was the one who stole Trappers boat.
Another interesting side story at the end is when they are on a ferry headed to lower 48 from Ketchikan (A family of 9 with no accommodations would run approximately $3,000) he runs into a young man working on the ferry who recognizes him from earlier years and warns Billy how horrible people are in the lower 48. He says, “They will steal everything you have. They will shoot you with guns. The city will tear you up like a raging bear. People down there aren’t like us. They will pretend to be your friend while taking you for everything you have. They will put a 9mm in your face and scare your family half to death, just to take your car. They will even stab you for your shoes. You can’t carry guns down there since 9/11. They can stop you anywhere and go through everything you own. If they find your guns, you will never see them again. And the gangs, they will shoot you for driving down the wrong street.”
If you really want to torture yourself, you can get a sneak-peek at the books on Amazon