Phloe's Reviews > Shoplifting from American Apparel

Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin
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's review
Mar 21, 2010

it was ok
Read in March, 2010

Two stars because Lin does - write in a way no one else has prior.

Two stars because - it really wasn't all that engaging.

But. I'm not the one with a book deal, and one who is included in the series "The Art of The Novella" alongside Kipling, Flaubert, Wharton and Joyce. Tao Lin is inarguably making more money than I am.

Shrug. Maybe it's because I'm not a writer. I just read. Perhaps I am missing something.

One-hundred-and-three pages of hipster ennui. Our main character Sam basically drinks iced coffee as much as he gets together with a number of really boring, vapid chicklets who basically have two choices: either do what he says (Audrey) or end up in a mental institution because you're not feeling him (Sheila). It's great writing if you indeed are that person - the one who gets brought out to U of Florida Gainesville for a reading and are told you have to sleep in a roach infested bus instead of a hotel. Or the one who shoplifts from a store known for ridiculously overpriced tee shirts and finds it a hoot when you get thrown in a holding cell for a few. Of course, the next time you get caught shoplifting, there is no record of your prior arrest - because you piss cotton candy and shit fro-yo.

And here's the deal: I ENJOY Lin's writing outside of this novella. His prose is quite funny- the book pronounced "EE" and Bed are rather enjoyable. That's the fucking bust about it: This novella is great if you live in the world Sam inhabits- but for the rest of us, it's just a literary blueball. You get taken into that world but can't. Quite. Get it over with.

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