ETA: The cover of this book is amazing (I just stared at it for like a minute, completely entranced) and it's done by Rodrigo Corral, my #3 in book coETA: The cover of this book is amazing (I just stared at it for like a minute, completely entranced) and it's done by Rodrigo Corral, my #3 in book cover design. It's probably what made me pick up the book in the bargain bin at Borders.
This reminds me of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, not because they are really anything alike but because of the way she and Sherrill handle the coming-of-age of a young girl. Coincidentally, I also read Prep at the start of a new year (2006) and reading this gave me a similar feeling. I thought it was very well-written (there are some amazing passages that made me very jealous) and the characters believable and likable, esp. Whitman. He was my definite favorite, and his relationship with Inez the most compelling part of the narrative. In a way I'm glad he only made short, often faceless appearances though. It made it that much more bittersweet. My main issue with the book was the ending. I was glad she was friends with Robbie again but I didn't care about her that much and didn't feel like that was the focus of the novel, so I wish it had just ended with her and Whitman or her and her father.
First, let me just say that this is gorgeous coffee table book. They made a great choice with the layout editing and the pictures & type. I also lFirst, let me just say that this is gorgeous coffee table book. They made a great choice with the layout editing and the pictures & type. I also like the concept for the cover, hiding the red scribbles underneath, but i think it's ultimately somewhat of a failure. That material (I don't know what it is, plastic?) seems to crack easily; I saw one at Borders which was completely destroyed. Also, it's slippery: every time I forget (or decide, no, I just wasn't gripping it tight enough last time) and try to grab it upright with one hand, it slips right out and falls on the floor. Or my foot. I've already lost track of how many times I've dropped it, which is horrifying because I like my books unblemished.
Anyway, I personally think, from this book, and from his performances, and his interviews, and what I know of him, that this man has a beautiful soul. But I don't know him. If I were to ever get to know him and find out that it's all a sham, well, I don't want to, so I hope I never do. I need to believe that there are people like this out there. I enjoyed his description of his 3 personas (Marshall, Slim, and Eminem) and where they end and begin, and where the lines are blurred. I enjoyed his comments about his family, and respect that he never releases any older pictures of his daughter or niece. My favorite parts are the reproductions of his lyrics sheets. If they are indeed 100% authentic, then he really wrote practicaclly all of a "Stan" without any later editing. Amazing. He also writes a lot like me. All over the places in different color pens. I only wish the book were a little longer.
The DVD is pretty disappointing. It only has about 13 minutes of footage, none of which is particularly groundbreaking. I probably wouldn't watch it again any time soon, and I still prefer his radio interviews. Wish he would put those on a CD and sell it. I'd buy that.
Book Content & Design: A That stupid jacket: B- DVD: C
I will always remember this as the book I was reading when Hurricane Ike hit. I read a lot of it in the dark too and probably screwed my eyes.
My persoI will always remember this as the book I was reading when Hurricane Ike hit. I read a lot of it in the dark too and probably screwed my eyes.
My personal opinion is that this book is a little overhyped, at least by The Believer. With that story and that writing style, it had the potential to be really epic. The whole thing actually reminded me of White Noise a lot (it seemed very American to me, too) and that's why I say this. Because DeLillo makes that really build toward something and just explode and culminate towards something at the end. And maybe this was quieter and it was supposed to be that way, but I got so frustrated with him describing every little detail of every single reproduction, while it seemed that things just kept staying stagnant.
Nevertheless, this was a brilliant concept (actually also reminded me a bit of the descriptions of the Charlie Kaufman movie Synecdoche, New York and what I've seen of the movie so far) and I must say my favorite part was the wiper fluid scene. The real one, not the re-enactments. I think that's when you kind of start to "get it" and understand the cover of the book which is so simple but so perfect. I would buy this book just for the cover, I seriously would. Not only is it gorgeous (John Gall and Geoff Spear are AMAZING) but it completely captures the sentiment of the entire story, and it's going down as one of my favorite jackets.
This book is amazing in both writing and design. Kidd is one of my career idols.
I have two copies of this book but one is ugly (read: ex-library). ETAThis book is amazing in both writing and design. Kidd is one of my career idols.
I have two copies of this book but one is ugly (read: ex-library). ETA: I just saw the new paperback version with the deleted chapter! It is gorgeous and I must have it someday. Do I really need 3 copies of this book? Yes, yes I do....more
**spoiler alert** I personally loved this book before I even started reading it, but I spent almost three years getting to the end. There are lots of**spoiler alert** I personally loved this book before I even started reading it, but I spent almost three years getting to the end. There are lots of reasons for this. First of all, the jacket is beautiful. It sums up the entire novel perfectly and sets the tone before you even open the book. The photo of the hallway that opens each chapter (and distorts and blurs in a different way each time) also serves as a great visual aid to the reader. It's a difficult book to read at times because of both the subject matter and the writing style. The segments that are most heavily fragmented are SO choppy and distracting that I had to put the book down for years before I picked it up again a few days ago and started over from the beginning. On a positive note, I would say that Cody definitely commits fully to his narrative and character, which is important in any book. He takes a huge risk in losing readers though. I will say that I found the book very beautiful most of the time, and very brave as well. Also, I have an obsession with serial killers so I found those passages very interesting. At the end, I wasn't sure exactly what happened to his wife and what was real and just in his mind, but for a novel like this I'm not entirely sure it matters. I'm very interesting in reading his other novels now; he seems to choose very tough topics and somehow writes about them with this rare, unflinching honesty and (to borrow from the books title) heart, no matter how difficult. I felt uneasy the whole time I was reading, until I wasn't just reading, I was experiencing something greater.