Specktor writes honestly and cogently about each artist’s life as he weaves in his own foibles and experiences as an artist, father, son, and friend ... Specktor masterfully orients the reader within the West Hollywood landscape ... The only flaw in Always Crashing is that, at times, the author’s flashbacks distract the reader from the organic flow of the prose, necessitating a reread. However, Specktor accomplishes what he set out to do: to provide an intimate study of nine artists of diverse talent who had an impact on him.
Specktor makes a habit of stripping away the protective coating of euphemism. But it isn’t all subtraction; he also offers moments of nurturing clarity ... Writing through his troubles, Specktor offers consolatory beauty.
Matthew Specktor explores the pulls—and perils—of chasing success in Always Crashing in the Same Car, an eloquent account of dark nights of the soul that mirrors the writing of his early idol, F. Scott Fitzgerald ... The other snapshots here are equally adept, combining melancholy with the saving graces of humor and hard-won perspective.