All The Sad Young Literary Men
The book is about a three (I think, I was thinking of this book about an hour after finishing it, and I was trying to think how many different main characters are there, and I had a hard time thinking if there were three or four, I'm pretty sure it's three though) sad young men. I don't know if I'd call him literary men, but as...more
Where to even begin? Sure, there were some funny lines, particularly in the "His Google" chapter, but for the most part this book is terribly flawed. Since Gessen isn't above using charts and bulleted lists in his book, I won't refrain from using them here.
1. has a complicated relationship with irony. Late in the book, the narrator describes one character's inability to understand what another character is saying. "His English was good but it was not good enough to...more
Also, all the lady characters are underdeveloped and horribly irritating.
I didn't expect to like it very much. But I did. I liked it a LOT.
All the Sad Young Literary Men really captured a sort of lifestyle. It started in a promising way, as the lives of the characters' did,...more
a) The title began with the same word.
b) Gawker hates Keith Gessen.
c) I knew some sad young literary men in my days as a sad young literary lady. I guess I still know some now, but they aren't so pathetic, these ones.
d) My brother went to Harvard and was miserable. I had a feeling that the ta...more
reasons why my friend Kyle Beachy's debut fiction The Slide:A Novel about pre-9-11 confused college grads is better than Keith Gessen's
1. More colors in the cover.
Anyone can do black and white. Having recently ordered all my books in color order, I have to say there are way too many black and white books. Plus instead of a creepy literary Atlas, we have a flying van.
2. The Slide is a far superior title.
That seems obvious
3. St. Louis is...more
It seems like a prolonged attempt at reconciling citizenship with sexuality, as though the two things were distinct, and as though each one could justify the ugliness and infelicities of the other. Maybe this picture of that struggle is true (i.e., to life). I...more
The story itself follows 3 main characters through college and post-college lives, mostly f...more
Critics generally reacted positively to Gessen's debut novel (really a set of linked short stories) and agreed that few writers have explored the hopes and fears of the young, urban intelligentsia with equal wit and precision. However, as the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram review claims, one's affection for the novel seems to depend on one's ability to stomach Gessen's narcissistic and self-absorbed protagonists
The women in this book struck me as well. None of them are major characters but...more
It’s pretty good. There...more
Reviewer Genevieve Smith writes:
"Best known for skewering criticism, Gessen applies the same wit and precision to his book, but those talents might not convince the most sympathetic readers to spend 256 pages revisiting a fictional version of their younger selves behaving badly."
And John Davidson agrees, in part:
"There are first books from authors you never expect to hear from again, and then there are others that you read...more
Gessen, who was born in Russia, has written about Russia for The Atlantic and the New York Review of Books. In 2005, Dalkey Archive Press published Gessen's tr...more