The Tetherballs of Bougainville
Now, in his new novel The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Leyner shares with us,long last, the quintessential coming of...more
The preface: "I want you to feel what it's like to be ten and, while the other kids are frolicking at summer camps, you're immured in the recesses of a mildewed hovel, subsisting on cigarettes and black coffee and spending twenty hours a day shooting a perverse misanthropic video version of Pippi Longstocking using tiny intricate marionettes made of cockroach carapaces, chicken bones, rat vertebrae pried from traps, discarded condoms, foil ketchup packets - whatever you can scavenge f...more
And a lot of times I make dubious recommendations to friends. I am concerned that I have traded most of my credibility with late-night boozy tirades about how good the second Danzig record is, etc.
So hopefully someone out there will forgive me my trespasses, because this is the funniest book that I have ever read and everyone should give it a try.
I am a big Mark Leyner fan. I think that at this point that I have read all but one of his works. It makes m...more
Before posting this would-be review, I went back to reread B0nnie's much better and more postive review; my advice is read that one. If for some reason you have nothing better to do, mine follows:
Years, and years, and years, and years ago, friends of mine and I would drive from central Illinois where I went to college (Blackburn, if you’re interested) to ST. LOUIS (emphasis added, as it was a big city adventure, a trip, if you will [even if you won’t, as some serious tripping was going on—seriou...more
Have you ever googled yourself? Come on, be honest. I do every once in a while and this book kept coming up because of the character with my name. So I finally bought it a few weeks ago.
Sad to say, I gave up about 1/3 of the way through...right after the character Len Gutman was first introduced and a few pages later when the strange story of his death came to...more
Okay, so the rundown is as follows. This is a Mark Leyner book, and like the previous book I reviewed by him (The Sugar-Frosted Nutsack), it's a strange and difficult read for anyone not looking for off-the-wall absurdity. While not as difficult a read as some of his other works, it's still not particularly easy.
This is, however, a good absurd "memoir" about adolescent life living with a father on the run in an insane world, and I must say that it's more accessible than some and I have n
Technically taking place during the course of a single afternoon, The Tetherballs of Bougainville is somehow a sprawling, chaotic, and hilarious journey through the verbose psycho-ramblings of the 13-year old narrator.
The spectacular first portion of the book starts with the botched execution of the main character's father who is then released into the New Jersey Discretionary Execution Program, where he could be instantly killed by the authorities at any ti...more
This book, however clever and well written it may be (and it is extremely so) didn't do it for me. It's pure style, and perhaps in 1997 when it was new, that style wouldn't have felt like a rehashing of post-modern style tropes, many of which I've seen used to more interesting effec...more
Having skimmed through the book again and finished it, I still feel like this is too much post-modern song and dance for me, but I think I was too hard on it. I upped my rating from 2 to 3 stars. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to read it in one shot. It is post-modern, after-all, and jumps from cultural reference to academic reference a...more
Leyner employs an intense and unconventional style in his works of fiction. His stories are generally humorous and absurd: In The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark's father survives a lethal injection at the hands of the New Jersey penal system, and so is freed but must live the remainder of his life in fear of being executed, at New Jersey's discret...more
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anomic skank genius cloistered in his room, getting cranked,
rabidly humping his sampler as he confects some heretical,
monstrous persona for himself and dreams of an orgiastic,
blood-soaked apocalypse. Yes, the /impudence!/ We have
/nothing/ in this life of suffocating obligation but our
own motherfucking impudence! For God's sake, give us this
day our motherfucking big-dick impudence!!”