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
this is merely a drop in the giant existential metal rain-water gathering tub that is this droptotal fucking game changer
as per request for specifics:
this is merely a drop in the giant existential metal rain-water gathering tub that is this drop-dead funny/deadly serious collection of the accounts of the deaths of one hundred & ninety of our--y'know, as in us human beings--most important thinkers, & what they thought of mortality, what--if anything--comes after, whether or not it matters (spoiler alert: it doesn't), &, sometimes, how, or how not to, do it.
i know what yer thinking & yer wrong. yes, the majority of dead folks represented here are western--read 'mostly white'--& male, but critchley includes, & without any seeming overexertion, if not an abundance, then at least an ample amount of examples of asian, arab, african &, uh ... um, alliteratively all i got is ovary-equipped ... err--whatever, women philosophers.