Good Lord, that's inappropriate.

What is there to say, really, about a book where one entire chapter is told entirely through powerpoint presentations? According to the Chicago Tribune, it’s “groundbreaking…features characters about whom you come to care deeply as you watch them doing things they shouldn’t, acting gloriously, infuriatingly human.” Let’s go ahead and break this sentence down, praise by praise.

“Groundbreaking”- defined by the Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “markedly innovative.” The novel itself is nothing new, reading like a bleak novelization of Almost Famous. Apart from the aforementioned slideshow, which feels like it’s a random attempt by the author to appear creative, each character’s story is somehow completely boring. They really shouldn’t be; these people’s lives are complete clusterfucks. Which leads me to my next point-

I do not “care deeply” about these people. Each character is kind of an asshole, and while I’m a fan of real people, there are better ways to go about doing this. Take, for example, The Corrections- each character is terribly, terribly flawed, but each shows potential for redemption. You root for these guys to win, in spite of themselves. A visit from the goon squad gives you no reason to care if they succeed or fail, and perhaps in the most irritating form of non-linear storytelling ever, the author decides to tell you the end of a character’s story arc right in the midst of another character’s story arc. Perhaps it’s an emotional overload- one way or the other, it’s impossible to feel truly involved with these people. And for that matter, what human beings have ever behaved this way? Egan insults the general intelligence of mankind as a whole by implying that the audience, by extension, is or has been in the past as completely retarded as some of the characters she’s created. Its one thing to be flawed, and another thing entirely to be completely and utterly moronic. People do things and have no idea why they’re doing them, they lie in situations where the truth would have been fine, and never seem to stop and think anything through past the point of instant gratification.

Another reviewer, this one from Time, called it “A new classic of American fiction.” Who decides who the classics are? Does a book have to be pretentious to be considered a classic? Does it have to be a miserable, dry reading experience? Yes, the novel itself is somewhat thought provoking, if in no other way than to force readers to remember to never behave as the characters they encounter in this novel tend to do.

Perhaps the most incorrect, in my humble opinion, is a review from none other than the New York Times itself, which claims Egan wrote a “dark, rippingly funny” book. There is nothing amusing about this novel. It is a painful, unpleasant experience. Perhaps that was her intent- to create a meta experience where her readers quite literally understand the anguish that is every one of her character’s lives.

 

Jun 14
A Visit from the Dull Squad (or: Why I’m not a fan of Jennifer Egan)
betterbooktitles:

Herman Melville: Moby-Dick
In honor of a great Moby-Dick Marathon in NYC this weekend.
Nov 20

betterbooktitles:

Herman Melville: Moby-Dick

In honor of a great Moby-Dick Marathon in NYC this weekend.

betterbooktitles:

Charles Bukowski: Ham on Rye
Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Andy Aidekman.
Nov 20

betterbooktitles:

Charles Bukowski: Ham on Rye

Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Andy Aidekman.

Nov 20

ravenskar:

The art direction, animation and quality of this ad is awesome.  Clever marketing campaign.  It reminds me of Don Hertzfeldt’s work, as well as Happy Tree Friends and Friends.  The glue guy is my favourite.  Too bad Metro is unreliable as hell.

dumbwaystodie.com

Nov 20

mcnallyjackson:

So this happened. 

CHICKEN SMUT. FUCK YEAH.

(via ineedabiggerneckruff)

austinkleon:

thenearsightedmonkey:

Poster for Lynda Barry’s class, “The Unthinkable Mind”, Spring 2013 at The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Filed under: Lynda Barry
Nov 20

austinkleon:

thenearsightedmonkey:

Poster for Lynda Barry’s class, “The Unthinkable Mind”, Spring 2013 at The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Filed under: Lynda Barry

Once upon a time, the world was going to come to an end.  Some ancient race, way back when, had predicted the death of the universe, and mankind had refused to accept the evidence of their impending demise until the last possible moment. Procrastination was always going to be an addictive habit, until the end of time-oh wait.

So with the end of the world exceedingly nigh, the inhabitants of the soon-to-be-no-more earth sought to right their wrongs against one another, in the spirit of it being quite literally “us against the world.” The Middle East got its act together, the Republicans and Democrats finally saw eye-to-eye on fiscal policy, and the fundamentalists apologized for being such giant assholes to everyone else. And then, in the biggest outpouring of love ever, all of the parents who’d disowned their homosexual children apologized profusely and invited them all home for one last family dinner. It was beautiful.

And when everything was at its purest and the only emotion felt across the globe was sheer love, the members of the ancient race who’d had themselves cryogenically frozen and launched into space decided not to blow the earth to smithereens.

The world lived in constant fear of their impending demise peacefully ever after.

Nov 20
Fairy Tale

You are probably a lovely person. However, you listen to Jack Johnson, who is an asshole. Therefore, by association, you are also an asshole. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

Oct 22
Ridiculous things I judge people for
theyuniversity:

Source: Married to the Sea
Aug 4

theyuniversity:

(Source: theyuniversity, via ineedabiggerneckruff)