Kirby's Reviews > Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 28 to April 04, 2012

Stone Arabia is great-- if you're into depressing tales of weird brother-sister relationships, pointless and debilitating obsession and general life disappointment -- WHICH I TOTALLY AM! I really liked this story of siblings growing up in dirty Hollywood in the 1970s, then trying to navigate their sad and lonely adult lives. I was also really engaged by the brother's lifelong preoccupation with documenting his "music career," which mostly consisted of recording dozens of full albums for a small handful of friends and family, including cover art and liner notes, then whipping up a slew of reviews by fake music journalists.

Anyone who is fascinated by fringe artists like Daniel Johnston or that crazy janitor from In the Realms of the Unreal will like Stone Arabia, another fascinating look at the loneliness of obsession:

"(Ask someone who is truly obsessed why they feel that way. They will sputter, they will feel you are interrogating their private world, they may spout a list of reasons, but ultimately they can't fully explain it. Obsession has an irrational or subrational heart. It's a bit like falling in love, I imagine.) And I believe few things are as despicable and dishonest as faking an obsession. The world is full of the lightly obsessed, the faintly committed, the inch-deep dilettantes. All those contrived and affected and presented passions."


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