Sulfurously funny and intellectually provocative, 7 Tattoos is a journey without maps through the labyrinth of a human soul. There are only a few landmarks as guideposts: the ones carved on the author's own flesh. Each section of this innovative book is the story of one of Peter Trachtenberg's tattoos, as well as a daring, intelligent exploration of the themes that each tattoo evokes: death, sacrilege, primitivism, rebellion, atonement, sadomasochism, and downfall. 7 Tattoos introduces us to a man responding ingeniously and emotionally to the harrowing events of his life: funerary rites in Borneo, heroin addiction on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the deathwatches of both his parents. Though it features deft portraits of famous tattoo artists like Spider Webb, Trachtenberg's book is not about tattoos; rather it is an arsenal of ideas fired off with great emotional power. At once memoir, wild anthropology, and meditation on love, faithlessness, and faith, this stunningly original book redefines what a literary memoir can be.