I was really disappointed that this book wasn't for sale, until I illegally downloaded it. Then after I finished it, I said to myself, ‘Hey, that wasn...moreI was really disappointed that this book wasn't for sale, until I illegally downloaded it. Then after I finished it, I said to myself, ‘Hey, that wasn't Jarod's book I read at all. That was a porno.' You'd think the fake breasts would have thrown me off - but they didn't. Because I know that somewhere in the depths of him, between his skin and his sternum, Mr. Kintz has fake breasts that have always longed to nurse a malnourished child back to health. That silicon doesn't have vitamins and minerals isn't something that's likely to bother him: children are more than content just to fondle.
But about Mr. Kintz's book here: I would really like to find out how to buy it. Maybe he accepts other forms of payment? (I'm broke.)
I think what he might mean is, this book isn't willing to sell its soul. Yes that's right - books have souls. Or at least their characters do. If they didn't, then why have more books been burned in history than heretics? My only regret is that Dante didn't write a chapter about the circle of hell where all the original volumes of ‘the Hardy Boys' are being read to Frank and Joe Hardy themselves as they are being spanked by their father, who often interrupts the narrative to yell, ‘So, you thought you could solve your father's crimes?'
Or maybe what Mr. Kintz means is, this book is not for sale in sex trafficking. I hope that's not the case, because there's no other way I'll come across it - I get passed around the Congo faster than a river boat.
I guess my only alternative is to wait until Mr. Kintz gives away this book on behalf of third-world relief aid.(less)
Mr. Kintz is a unique voice in American fiction, and this is his most narratively cohesive book to date. A novella broken up into short chapters fully...moreMr. Kintz is a unique voice in American fiction, and this is his most narratively cohesive book to date. A novella broken up into short chapters fully of witty dialogue to keep the reader moving along. It can be read in one sitting, so it doesn’t place demands on the reader’s schedule like so many of today’s sprawling novels.
While popular fiction is caught up in the craze of the young adult fantasy genre and is for the most part badly written, and ‘important’ literature is busy exploring the more depressing facts of life in a style that usually has more in common with homework than entertainment, works of whimsical, imaginative playfulness are uncommon these days. That’s one part of what makes this book so refreshing. After you stack up the insane amount of books published and self-published annually (I read something like 15 million ISBN numbers were supposed to have been issued in 2012 alone) you find that the variety of fictional work is not as great as one would think.
Another (more obvious) merit of this work, which all the other reviewers have already noted, is its wit. And it really can’t be over-exaggerated.
Coming up with first-rate one-liners is hard enough, but conversations of one-liners is something that even top contemporary comedians like Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg can’t do. And that’s what separates Mr. Kintz from other humorists writing today – his work transcends the genre. Stylistically, he is Oscar Wilde meets Richard Brautigan (two other writers whose work is lies in that grey zone between the popular and the serious, and whose reputations have inevitably suffered in both directions as a result. The number of critics and scholars claiming that Wilde was not a great writer has been steady since his death, and his work only survives now in the popular imagination because of its quotability.)
There is more to this book than just quotes, though. The stylized dialogue is matched by surrealistic elements in every direction. Descriptions abound of the hotel’s lavish, fantastical interior landscapes. There is a farcical plotline involving world domination with a DeLorean, peanut butter and jelly, and love quotes. Characters have names like ‘Ben Benson’, ‘Fredrick F. Fredrickson,’ and ‘Jackson J. Jackson.’ The main characters have absurd backstories that lend their equally ridiculous thoughts and actions in the present motivations that flow with a certain logic.
At bottom though, the delightful surface-level quality of the story is simply a desperate vitality, an excessive compensation for its undercurrent of failure. The hotel is a fantasy world where people escape their working lives to come live their hobbies. And the hotel employees scarcely do more any labor themselves. The main character, Jackson J. Jackson, is essentially an underemployed bum who saunters about the building, haunted by an early experience of miscommunication (he once lost his eyebrows, and without the context of facial cues no one understood him when he spoke). The villain is likewise a tragic figure with a past riddled by anxiety, who becomes set on taking over the world due to his concern over population explosion.
In this novel about hobbies and the people who serve those hobbies by never doing any actual work, it is possible to see a reflection of today’s cultural uprootedness - the new underclass of overeducated people who are themselves without work. If Mr. Kintz’s eventually becomes successful through his writings, he will likely find his largest appeal among this social group.
To conclude, if plausibility is your bag then stay away. You’re probably one of those staid bores who thinks Oscar Wilde wasn’t a great writer. (less)
Jarod Kintz talks about love in ways I never thought were possible, and am pretty sure still aren't. If you need some ideas about love, read this book...moreJarod Kintz talks about love in ways I never thought were possible, and am pretty sure still aren't. If you need some ideas about love, read this book. If you memorize these quotes and repeat them everywhere in public, the opposite sex will flock to you. I did, and now there are a bunch of ewes following me everywhere. But I don't mind. They keep me warm at night, and I have someone to read this book to - even if they don't understand a single word in it. (less)
I'm very happy with this book. Just by buying it, I saved 34 cents. If I had a few more cents, I could buy a stamp and mail the author a letter tellin...moreI'm very happy with this book. Just by buying it, I saved 34 cents. If I had a few more cents, I could buy a stamp and mail the author a letter telling him how much I appreciate his book, and how I'm going to start reading it soon. But since I haven't, I can only imagine the quotes that are in here. And I can imagine them perfectly. Quotes like, "Opportunity seldom rises with blood pressure." As soon as I read that, I experienced systolic dysfunction, and I seized the moment - I called an ambulance. Because if there's one thing I like to do, it's realizing new possibilities about myself by proving aphorisms wrong. Thank you, Jarod Kintz, for helping me to grow as a person. (less)
To say that this is a funny book would be an understatement. This is a funny life. Jarod Kintz is bearing himself here in all his shame and glory – an...moreTo say that this is a funny book would be an understatement. This is a funny life. Jarod Kintz is bearing himself here in all his shame and glory – and the least we can do is point and laugh at his pale nakedness.
If you’re only familiar with Jarod’s witticisms and are looking for more narrative cohesiveness, look no further. If you’re looking for narrative adhesiveness, add some tape to this book. Mr. Kintz will appreciate your advertisement, and your good fashion sense.
How to describe the two-dozen or so brief vignettes here? If I had to classify this work within a genre, I would group it under ‘non-fictional tragicomic magical-surrealist self-help fictional memoir.’ But you can just find it on the ‘classics’ shelf.
Have you ever wondered what meeting a renaissance man would be like? Me neither. But Jarod comes off here something like a man from the romantic period: a Lord Byron swimming the Gulf of Mexico in mock-heroic fashion, slowed down only slightly by trash, oil pollution, and dead fish.
Stylistically, Mr. Kintz’s work bears comparison with the beats. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that he is the heir to Richard Brautigan. A critic once famously said that, “Perhaps, when we are very old, people will write 'Brautigans,' just as we now write novels,” and Jarod lives up to that vision beautifully here. Jarod takes situations based on his life – his anxieties and failures in love, personal moments with his eccentric mathematical genius of a stepfather, encounters with exotic clientele in the hotel where he works – weaves in and out of them, and embellishes them with touches of surrealistic, self-effacing, bittersweet optimism, while sprinkling inspirational witticisms throughout.
Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Jarod’s quotes and is looking for a good sit-down read that won’t take too long. (less)
I thought I knew what love was with Jarod Kintz's book ‘Love Quotes For the Ages, Specifically Ages 18 - 81.'
But I was wrong. Because since reading...moreI thought I knew what love was with Jarod Kintz's book ‘Love Quotes For the Ages, Specifically Ages 18 - 81.'
But I was wrong. Because since reading Dark Jar Tin Zoo's new book, I've realized that,
1) 18 year-olds are too barely legal to know anything about love, and 2) octogenarianism is too immature a life stage to express the kind of love I feel.
Now I can love into my early nonagenarian years - which I still won't do, because I want to love like a centenarian now (just until I get some more experience).
This book will sustain my needs for now, though. The 91 year-olds in my life will be in for a wild time when I read this to them during naptime.
Really though, I'm waiting for the release of Dark Jar's next book, ‘Love Quotes for the Epochs: Supercentenarians to Methuselah.' Of course, that won't encompass the full range of altruism I yearn for, either: Methuselah is way too young to express the spiritual love that only someone as old as God can emanate throughout the universe. A love that is vast, unknowable, and perfect. That book would have to span the timeline of creation and blind anyone who reads it. I believe it will be published soon, when the book of revelation starts to unfold. To prepare, I'm putting on my sunglasses.Love quotes for the ages. Specifically ages 18-81.(less)
Three very funny stories. While laughter is the best medicine, I’m glad that I’m also on my anti-depressant medication, because I laughed until I crie...moreThree very funny stories. While laughter is the best medicine, I’m glad that I’m also on my anti-depressant medication, because I laughed until I cried – there is a slight sadness to this quirky humor.
The first and third stories have surprise endings, and the second story would have surprised me as a whole, if I didn’t already know what it was like to be a stripper at a race track (starving artists can get pretty desperate).
Ms. Hruba writes in a casual style. There were a few strange words I encountered here that made me feel a bit like I was reading A Clockwork Orange, but I then realized that Ms. Hruba is a Czech Down Under. While I’m usually offended by foreign authors who don’t willingly and wholly conform themselves to my American English – especially the Ancient Greeks and Romans, those pompous bastards – I found that my lack of familiarity with words like ‘arvo’ and ‘champers’ and ‘décolletage’ and ‘the’ really added to the slightly surreal atmosphere of these stories.
I will most definitely be reading more of Ms. Hruba’s work in the future, when I have time. Right now I’m putting on my high heels; there’s a limo waiting outside to take me to the racetrack. If you read this review and liked it, please send me the spare change in your pants, or just call me and I’ll come fish it out for a favor. (less)
I thought this was a book about how to play hide and seek with your boyfriend. I was wrong. This is a book of humorous vignettes. My favorite of all t...moreI thought this was a book about how to play hide and seek with your boyfriend. I was wrong. This is a book of humorous vignettes. My favorite of all time would have to be the one about how apologizing just isn't enough when you dial the wrong number, but none of Steve Martin's stuff is in this book. Still, there are some shorts written by the author that will have you laughing hard. I only wish I could wear those shorts, and I'm anticipating the day Jarod Kintz comes out with a virtual reality book so I can realize that desire.(less)