While many different kinds of audiences have cheered at Justin’s message, many others have been threatened by it. There are those in the publishsing industry who have done everything in their power to prevent this message from reaching wider audience.
When McClelland & Stewart accepted the first version of the book for publication in 1979, publisher Jack McClelland told Justin, “I’ve never had a manuscript polarize the publishing house as much as yours has. My senior editor has threatened to quit and start her own publishing company if I dare publish your book, but my sales manager can’t wait for me to arrange for him to have dinner with you.”
The book was published and received many favorable reviews from those who were able to get a copy. McClelland & Stewart’s own editorial review said: “Brutalized and written off as an idiot in childhood, Justin Thomas entered first grade at the age of 28. Today, at 39, he is hailed as literary genious: poet, playwright, artist, composer, philosopher, therapist, and guru’s guru. This is his life, as few lives are told – a true and daringly naked odyssey that will shock, amuse and enlighten as it probes the startling potential of the human mind. It is a raw, often astonishing book that entertains with it’s exhilirating sense of freedom, yet challenges with it’s cosmic consciousness, with it’s unflinching, often painful, honesty, with it’s utter humanity…Justin Thomas’ singular autobiography is an unprecedented literary experience”.
Then Jack McClelland took ill and his senior editor took over for a time. A journalist called Justin to inform him that someone at McClelland & Stewart was trying to “bury” his book. The journalist couldn’t even get a review copy. Even after it was published, there were those who were determined that Justin’s message should not get out. It is a message that indeed polarized many. Read at your own risk.