Ah, Tao Lin. Evan was like, "Tao Lin has an Andy Warhol thing going on," which is true. Intentionally vapid in a way that points to the vapidness (vapidity!) of the culture! Smart.
And for the first sixty pages of this little book, I was super pumped about it. "This is great," I thought. "Nobody writes this simply and directly about complicated things." But by the end I was like, "okay, yes, you write simply and directly about complicated things, and the lack of analysis is basically the point, but that is kind of a thin trick. What am I supposed to take away from this, the idea that modern life is bleak and alienating?"
If you read it as a funny book, it is hilarious, especially to people (like me) who have opinions about people like Lorrie Moore
. But to read it as a book that's saying something, it's... I don't know, I think the Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie are boring. Could we please turn on the scathing brutal distortion pedals in those bands' music, please? I feel the same way about this book: yes, you're interacting with some emotional truths, and talking about them, but... you're more like acknowledging them than talking about them. You're not really going after them.
So yeah. I still really enjoyed it, and would recommend it, but I would feel weird giving it five stars.
Like I did to the Spawn Armageddon Collection
. Star ratings are kind of arbitrary, huh?