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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
We Need a Cleanup on Aisle Five Hazel is a middle-class hypochondriac doing (over)time as a manager at Safeway, the only place that would hire her with an MBA from a state school. She hates her boyfriend, her family, and her life. Otis is a guiltless weirdo who still has action figures in his bed; a postindustrial Peter Pan who wakes up in the middle of the night crying fr ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 204 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Casperian Books LLC
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Paul Jr.
Nov 12, 2010 Paul Jr. rated it it was amazing
From the moment I first heard of Lavina Ludlow’s debut novel, alt.punk, I knew it would be right up my alley. Germaphobia, hard music, and a sexy, man-boy lead singer in a punk band. I was so looking forward to it that I ordered it on release day. But, like Ludlow’s lead character, Hazel, I got too wrapped up in the drama of a day-job to find time to read it. Now, almost 4 months after the book arrived at my home, I got a long weekend to do absolutely nothing but sit down and read this really fa ...more
Jason Pettus
Dec 20, 2010 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Based on its title and cover, it'd be natural to assume that Lavinia Ludlow's literary debut alt.punk is going to be a sort-of tell-all novel about the music industry, especially given the author's past as a drummer for various bands herself. But this instead turns out to be a more interesting and charming
David Katzman
Dec 30, 2010 David Katzman rated it really liked it
As soundtrack to this novel, I recommend you create a new channel on Pandora by selecting my favorite hardcore band, Screeching Weasels. The main band featured in this book seems to be of the hardcore variety along the lines of NOFX, No Use for a Name, and the Weasels. Back in the day, I was a DJ for our college radio station, spinning indie rock, indie pop, and noise of all sorts. I was into punk at the time, but it was more of the syncopated dissonant variety, bands like The Jesus Lizard and B ...more
from author

Read 7/3/11 - 7/4/11
5 Stars -Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book
Pgs: 202

I gotta tell ya, it's nice to have author friends. What's even nicer is having author friends who have similar literary tastes to you. Wanna know what's even nicer than that? Having author friends who have awesome taste in literature (who like what you like) who introduce you to new awesome literature!

I may never have read Lavinia Ludlow's alt.punk if it wasn't for longtime TNBBC buddy Ben Tanzer mentioning t
Nina-Marie Gardner
Dec 31, 2010 Nina-Marie Gardner rated it it was amazing
This book pretty much blew me away. I was knocked down by the humor, the cleverness of the language and descriptions, completely in awe of the vivid, original and yet recognizable (beneath & in some instances for all their tics) characters. Despite her pessimism, hypochondria and extreme germ phobia, there was something weirdly loveable and endearing about the protagonist Hazel—I think a lot of it had to do with her wit and hilarious observations that were tempered in a sort of deadpan—diffi ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Kinds of Punkalicious People
This book is absolutely fabulous!

So fabulous in fact, I had to read it twice because the first time I inhaled the text like Hazel does diet soda. Then on the second reading, I took my time and still came to the conclusion that this book just rocks!

I could totally relate to Hazel (except for the whole hypocondriac/germaphobe thing) and really enjoyed going along for the ride. It made a few things about my own life clearer in the process, so I'm grateful for those insights.

I really liked the chao
Victor Giron
Mar 01, 2011 Victor Giron rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Fun to read. I read it on a beach, literally, in Mexico, with Coronas quite on demand. It reminded me a little of Darren Aronofsky's films (Requiem for a Dream, Pi, The Wrestler) (ok not quite as dark), because of how it made me cringe, but yet was sprinkled with beautiful, enlightening moments. It's essentially the story of Hazel, a young lady who, well, has problems 'fitting' in with society. She wants to write but is held back by her family, loser boyfriend, the need to fit i ...more
Feb 17, 2011 G rated it really liked it
Imagine the world of severe OCD--spending hours scrubbing your hands and showering with bleach. Then imagine if that girl's world went spiraling out of control when she falls for a disgusting, germ-infected lead singer of punk rock band and decides to run away from life and go on tour with him and his band.

This book was intense, funny, and riddled with disgusting images and thoughts my own mildly-OCD mind could barely handle. If you like a book that can scare the hell out of you, then you must
Lavinia Ludlow
Nov 17, 2010 Lavinia Ludlow rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I know I'm commenting on my own novel, but it was a great experience to write it, and I enjoyed editing it even more. The folks at Casperian Books are amazingly talented.

I hope you enjoy my debut title. All thoughts are welcome.

Five years ago I told someone on my Goodreads friends list, Lavinia Ludlow, that I wanted to read her first book, which had just been published at the time. I bought the book, and then realized, "Shit, what if I don't like it? I'm not reviewing books for a living, so what good would it do to for me to read this and then pan it on Goodreads if it wasn't my cup of tea? I don't want to discourage or hurt a budding writer. Maybe this is a mistake."

As it happened, life happened, and the book -- along
Feb 22, 2011 Timothy rated it it was amazing
Reprinted from Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

Whacked Out Characters Rule in ALT.PUNK

by Lavinia Ludlow
Casperian Books

If I were to review this book in one sentence it would be the following: Author Lavinia Ludlow covers her characters and sets the book in such heavy slime that even her protagonist, Hazel, an OCD germ freak cannot wash it off.

When the book opens, Hazel is stuck in her own personal jail. She is a writer that aimlessly manages a Safeway, ster
May 13, 2011 Sybil rated it it was amazing
Hazel, the narrator of Lavinia Ludlow’s novel alt.punk is a heroine for our times. She’s smart, funny, and neurotic. She’s trying to change her life but clings to old alliances and patterns even when she knows they’re destructive. For example, Hazel’s mother criticizes everything Hazel is (not married and overweight at 110 (!) pounds) and does (quits her okay job to travel with her boyfriend’s punk band), and yet Hazel still visits her family on holidays, answers her mother’s calls, and even cal ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Ben rated it it was amazing
Will make you want to wash your hands, repeatedly, but in a good way.

Full review -
Xian Xian
When it comes to music and certain forms of art, you can either lift an eyebrow or cheer and grab it off the shelf hoping for some feel good, rock and roll fun. Because there are plenty of books and movies that shout out that same old clichéd "rock and roll and drugs and sex," theme. I'm talking about stuff like Wayne's World or That Thing You Do!. As of yet, I have never read a music related novel that was close to the corniness of those movies. I've actually never seen Wayne's World, but judgi ...more
Tabitha Vohn
Jan 26, 2016 Tabitha Vohn rated it liked it
alt.punk is edgy, irreverent, hilarious at times and...ultimately, not for me.

Don't get me wrong. Ludlow's writing is unique and spot on. Her presentation of this cast of irrevocably f--ed up characters is brilliant. The premise of a young woman who's psychologically abused by her mother, fed up with her mediocre life and takes a chance on a man who both disgusts and enthralls her was riveting. And as I write this, I'm asking myself why I don't give it another read through? It was, after all, a
Candi Sary
Dec 25, 2011 Candi Sary rated it it was amazing
Reading alt.punk felt like listening to a great song-- the way a unique sound and powerful lyrics can really make you feel something deep. Every free moment I had, I just wanted to pick the book up and immerse myself into Hazel's world. Honestly, it's not easy to stomach everything Hazel thinks or does, but the raw, graphic writing just made it that much more authentic and intriguing. The characters so realistically came to life, I found myself thinking about them during the day, as if they were ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Aimee rated it it was amazing
So I finished this book a few days ago, and have been digesting it since then. I suppose it says something when I find myself wanting to alternatively smack Hazel, Otis and Landon in the face, and yet at the same time invite them into my home and make them some soup. While I'm a few years older (and presumably wiser) than Hazel, I found myself nodding along with her, marveling in her thought processes, identifying with the life of retail drudgery and trying to find a place in the world which she ...more
May 06, 2011 Charity rated it it was amazing
Hysterical. Hair raising. Tumultuous. Endearing. Biting. Earnest. Heart rending. Gritty. Visceral. Just the beginning of words I would use to describe "alt.punk." Hazel is such a problematic and fantastic character that I wanted to shake and root for at the same time. An amazing read that is so tough to put down, especially in the last 100 pages or so, which I read straight through so caught up in her story as it unfolded. I don't want to give any details away because it would take the joy of re ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it
I really liked this novel. I didn't, however like the end at all. It feels like the author got bored and just tried to wrap it up quickly. She took great care in building the main characters from the ground up but then just let the relationships fall apart so quickly and easily. (perhaps that is the point; that people come in and out of our lives so quickly and quietly that in the grand scheme we hardly notice)
review in notes? where is it blast, um
'm on page 10 of 204 of alt.punk: oh my god ll, your one liners just keep coming hard and fast, it's cracking me up: about having kids....""I've been burdened with this weird phobia that I'll unintentionally torture mine the way my family tortured and continues to torture me, simply out of bitterness and/or resentment. It sounds like some schoolyard massacre waiting to happen, and I;m worried that a lot of innocent people could go down,...."
Mar 05, 2011 Imogen rated it it was amazing
Sooo awesome. You need to read this book, people!
Alex Kudera
May 25, 2011 Alex Kudera rated it it was amazing
fantastic--young author with unlimited potential. scary good if you like the dark and freaky stuff.
Dec 01, 2012 Carla added it
loved it
Nicole Wolverton
May 12, 2012 Nicole Wolverton marked it as abandoned
I had a real problem with suspension of disbelief, which led to me abandoning this novel. Hazel is a hypochondriac germophobe, right? So after dumping one slovenly guy, she starts dating (and having unprotected sex with) a truly repulsive guy? He spits, he's covered in acne, and his apartment is a practically condemned hovel, yet I'm supposed to believe this woman who regularly sterilizes the walls of her apartment, has bi-quarterly medical checkups, and uses umpteen different kinds of hand sani ...more
Oct 02, 2011 Cyndi rated it did not like it
I won this book on Goodreads Giveaway.

This book showed a lot of promise, but my hopes were quickly extinguished. The main character did not come across as a hypochondriac, and all of the characters in the book just weren't relatable. This wasn't a book that I could finish because I really just got bored with it.
Nov 16, 2010 Ryan rated it really liked it
Read my review at The Nervous Breakdown:
Leland Cheuk
Leland Cheuk rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2015
herocious herocious
herocious herocious rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2011
Emily Hiller
Emily Hiller rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2011
Diane rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2012
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Lavinia Ludlow is a musician and writer born and raised in the Bay Area, California. She currently resides in San Francisco and London.

Her debut novel alt.punk, published by Casperian Books, explores the ragged edge of art, society, and sanity, viciously skewering the politics of rebellion. Her sophomore novel, Single Stroke Seven, is a narrative that sheds light on independent artists of a shipwr
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