all hail the weirdo king. i'm now smart. i "get" ben marcus. of course that means i have to go back & reread what i already read, the age of wireall hail the weirdo king. i'm now smart. i "get" ben marcus. of course that means i have to go back & reread what i already read, the age of wire & string, & do the math to figger out if i was wrong, or just genuinely stupid.
these are things i think about. not things that occur to me, but things i turn around, smell, or throw against a wall to determine its, i don't know, something. that was probably stolen from my memory of something george saunders wrote, which one could say marcus seems to be, if not digging in a field somewhat close by, at least doing a flyby of reconnaissance for the examination of & remarking on of said field, if you were like me, someone as limited in his ability to offer an opinion on another's work, & yet, for some reason or another, so eager to comment. b/c you get him, now, ben marcus. me, that is. i get him now.
what's important to remember here is the logistics. this is the book that will make me read everything else ben marcus has written, including the book he wrote that i read that was not that book, as well as this book, that is ... umm ... that book. probably read each new one he puts out w/ respect to access at the time.
it reminds me of the moment i realized i loved a modest mouse record i'd previously resolved to dislike b/c of reasons so moronic i'll not mention here so as to not alter my "face" for the worse. sadly i continued to do this for years w/ no regard to evidence, or even the lie of an inquiry. i'm losing the point, so i'll just say it. either in spite of, or b/c of, or just b/c, everything isaac brock touches is gold to me.
my opinion on ben marcus, while not lacking the signature laziness i employ when forming an opinion, had only the hype he did not control [i hope! cause that would be weird, maybe even weird enough to ... nah] & my personal experience w/ one book, until i read this one, which i casually noticed & grabbed w/o thinking on my way out the library a few days ago. sometimes i get the little things right.
a little about the book
1) it's very fucking dark, which goes a long way towards explaining why, i think, i like it so much. i would say it's unrelenting in its fucking darkness.
2) if you love yer family, you might not like this book. if you hate yer family, you might like this book. if, however, yer about 99% sure you just found out you do, in fact, now blame yer family, instead of yerself, for how fucked up you really are, there is no way you will not love this book.
3) if you want to feel better about how much you hate humanity in general, you'll probably like this book. if you like other people, do not read this book
4) if yer smart, you will like this book.
5) this book makes me feel smart, even though it also makes me acknowledge the horror of being smart, as well as the horror of not being sure if you are smart, or just feel smart, or even the possibility of the certainty that feeling smart is what makes you truly stupid, which, if true, you totally are.
this is really a really, really good book. really....more
what did i think? i think, w/o reservation, that i was not smart enough to get this. i think my three star rating is only a reflection of my shortcomiwhat did i think? i think, w/o reservation, that i was not smart enough to get this. i think my three star rating is only a reflection of my shortcomings of intelligence, & not the excellence of the book, of which there is much to be found. there are dizzying passages of what amounts to poetry as prose. the book is not long, & yet i could only read it at short clips. the chapters are short, & yet i more often than not had to stop & resume in the middle of them. it both reminded me a little of bruno schulz, & was obviously of an entirely different everything. i can recognize some of the limits of my imagination in this b/c, really, the only similarities b/w the two are that they are both written by europeans, they both have first person narrators that seem inseparable from the writers, they both create a universe that revolves around the father of the narrator, & they both have a hallucinatory, child-like quality, precocious though it may be. that's it. also: my life is falling apart & that makes me think i need to be reading anything else but what i'm currently reading. not the best way to enjoy reading. it's really very good....more