“There are certain books you can pass along to friends and loved ones with high marks, and, then, there are books you give very high marks to, but choose not to pass them along.

Last One to Die is a must-read. Mike Essington is a modern day Beat writer who takes on gritty reality and serves it up raw. This guy writes from the heart, his tales are gripping, intense, and they take you into an underworld that few have experienced.

I’ve no doubt that Mike Essington shaped these characters from real-life acquaintances, the characters are too compelling, too deep to have been concocted from his imagination. My only complaint is that Essington can’t write books as fast as I can read them.”
James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard

 

“An amazing book from a gifted writer, he makes you loath and love his characters in the space of a minute, they are believable and human.

Michael Essington is a gifted writer. This book is a page turner, and you won’t want to put it down.”
James Frey, Bright Shiny Morning, Final Testament of the Holy Bible

 

 

 

“As I travel through life there are some things I didn’t need to know. One for certain being the life style of Punk and the second being those who live it. Nor I did have any desire or interest to know those who reviewed their music or the music for that matter. However what I do have keen interest in is good writing and storytelling. Mike is one of them, a good writer and a damn good storyteller. He is eloquent and concise and doesn’t get lost in the world of minutia. He tells the story and holds you captive page after page. To the point you want to cheat (go to the back of the book) but don’t! Enjoy the book. Learn something you perhaps didn’t know, I did. Thanks to some well written verse knowledge of a lifestyle and the honesty to tell it.”
Clyde A. Wray, Poet, Playwright, director and producer author of four books of poetry

“Holy Fucking Shit, it’s excellent. Seriously. It’s really fucking fantastic.

Last One To Die was killer-this one is even beyond it thus far. I think the confidence you gained from the first book is put to fine, fine use. Though you still don’t sacrifice any of the rawness to the stories, you’re approaching the telling of them with a flair and dynamism that makes everything all the more gripping.

That first story about your mom and the grave really started things out with guts, and what I’ve read that follows doesn’t let up."
Dave Gurz, Subterranean Emerald City Blues, You’re Going To Die Out There

 

“I am anxiously anticipating Michael’s book. I know it will be an honest and vicarious experience for the new uprising of punks & a nostalgic recall for the veteran punks, especially those like Michael, who was then is now & will always be punk rock!”
Rikk Agnew, The Adolescents, Christian Death, D.I.

"Started your book, the whole running sports part with your dad have me laughing out loud, really funny !!!"
Eric Leach, Symbol Six

 

"I finished reading it!. It was a very good read. Very open and honest. I loved the story about the turkey and your dad! I was at home all alone and laughed out loud. I felt it was a very insightful view on your life and your family. Expressing a lot of the anger and frustration that we as punk rockers felt/feel and the even now as reponsible citizens with families of our own how people still look at us sideways because they will never understand it. I have a certain persona to maintain for the sake of my family/kids but if people knew how much I sometimes want to fuck up some douche bag that was fucking with me they would run the other way! It was a tight knit family with a communal feeling to it and I still share some of these friendships even after 25 years. Being a little younger and growing up in New Hampshire I missed the beginning of the whole LA scene. Coming into it about '82. When I was 8-9 I had the fortunate experience of being introduced to Sex Pistols and a lot of the British music through my 15 year old aunt from Germany. So I could relate to your relationship to your uncle. When I got a little older we use to go to shows and party. I felt a kindred connection with you."

Ginger Kuroishi, Manager, Symbol Six

“Mike E. handles the record reviews and does an outstanding job with them. His present-day takes on records that are often 20 years old are informed and on-the-money most of the time and his reviews of newer product are a reliable buying guide. But he does more than just review records: Mike is a top-notch storyteller and each review also includes an autobiographical anecdote. The story may or may not directly relate to the record being reviewed, but it does give the reader the unique opportunity to learn something about the reviewer and therefore perhaps some insight into the state of mind in which the review was written. Many celebrity “rock ‘n’ roll journalists” would never dare to be so open.”
Bryan Rutt, That's What I Was Going to Say

"Michael Essington, one of the great writers of the American underground. Cutting his teeth in the birth years of L.A. punk rock, Michael has seen it all. Not afraid to speak the truth, he calls it as he sees it, and calls it out when necessary regardless of the fallout.

Michael Essington has championed the high energy and spirit of what music should be about, attitude, energy, never compromising and always taking the risks that nobody else wants or is willing to take.

Last One To Die is no different, it tells the stories of everyday life through the dark and subtle wit of Michael Essington. A bit reminiscent of Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries, minus all the self-destructing drug abuse. Last One To Die had me laughing out loud on every page. Michael Essington’s memoirs are a great reminder to pay attention to what’s going on around you. If you do, you just might realize there the circus is in town every day."
Eric Leach, Symbol Six

“I absolutely love the way he writes his stories. As I read, I feel as if I’m there sharing the experience with him. Great flow, never a dull moment and oh so honest. Never pretentious. I lived in Hollywood for a very long time so it takes me back there making me realize what we consider just another day are very interesting stories. I love to relax with a good book of stories to escape from reality and Michael’s writing takes me where I need to go. All I have to say is “More, please?” Such an inspiration to me. Thanks Michael.”
Texas Terri Laird, Texas Terri Bomb
About.com: http://punkmusic.about.com/b/2012/05/05/micheal-essington-last-one-to-die.htm "M, hi. Good luck with the book. Henry"
Henry Rollins, Author

Texas Style Skatboarding: http://www.texasstyleskateboarding.com/2/post/2012/10/last-one-to-die-by-michael-essington.html

“The short pieces he writes combine with his naturally conversational style to make you feel like you're sitting with an old friend trading stories that you've both heard a thousand times over, but you want to hear again anyway. Others might use traditional book-review words like "stark," "unflinching," or "no punches pulled" to describe Mike's tone and outlook; I think "realistic" is a better choice. No, he doesn't dress up the grittier aspects of his tales to make them more palatable, nor does he apologize for who he was in his youth or who he is now. But then again, when you're sitting with your friend trading stories, you know that you'll call bullshit on each other if you try to make yourself look better than you were. I never got the sense while reading that I'd be calling bullshit on any of Mike's tales.”
Bryan Rutt, That's What I Was Going to Say
http://bryanrutt.blogspot.com/2011/09/recommended-reading-last-one-to-die.html

“Michael, have I mentioned, every page I turn in your book "Last One to Die" reads like a page of my life? Thank you so much for the commentary of the life you and all of us led.”
Dave Diamond, Soul Trash, The Freeze

“Mike Essington's book, Last One to Die is different from the books I usually read. It is on the surface a book about a Guy and his experiences while growing up and growing into a Punk Rock life during the 1980's when Punk was going through changes, a sort of identity crisis, and growing in Popularity. Essington takes us through his discovery, describing events and shows that bring him deeper into the Punk world as he explores it all.”
LaRae Williams, Bohemian Patriot News
http://bohemianpatriotnews.onefireplace.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1062226&mode=PostView&bmi=778271
“He’s been around since the early 80’s L.A. Punk scene, and “Last One To Die” is his memoirs. It’s a fantastic read and you should check it out.”
Rich Zweiback, The Big Takeover
http://www.bigtakeover.com/top-ten/Rich-Zweiback-110918
“Mike is the one who finally got me to read Bukowski, and you can see Mr. Bukowski in Mike’s writing style. The best way for me to describe it, is it’s like have a beer (a fine wide cup of coffee for me now these days) and swapping stories about the past.”
Justin Hrabe, Mustard Relics
http://mustard-relics.com/2011/12/02/last-one-to-die-by-michael-essington-book/
“Last One To Die - Michael Essington: Mike E. is an old time West Coast (L.A.) punk and has written his "memoirs". Equal parts observations on family, the scene and his history in the maelstrom of el lay Punk, Mike's writing is thoughtful and even poignant. You come out of reading this book with the desire to know the guy personally. If only the East Coast and Left Coast woulda merged... I coulda called him friend. And you should be checking out his stuff on STRANGE REACTION too! Great articles on Punk and great stories about his past. Support your peers, ya scurvy dogs!”
Nazz Nomad, Bleedin' Out
http://bleedinout.blogspot.com/2011/09/read-these.html
“Essington, the unapologetic, good-natured ball of rage finds something that resembles peace with a life changing event, and manages to hang on to his punk rock ethos.”
De Fen, Punk Globe
http://www.punkglobe.com/lastonetodiebookreview1211.html