Alvin Orloff

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Alvin Orloff

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Member Since
April 2007

Alvin Orloff began writing in 1977 as the teenage lyricist for The Blowdryers, an early San Francisco Punk band. He spent the 1980s dabbling in avant garde theater, underground cabaret, performance art, and nightclub DJing before remembering all he ever wanted to be was a writer. He is currently working on a memoir about shiftless no-account club kids during the AIDS era he promises won't be totally depressing.

Alvin Orloff hasn't written any blog posts yet.

Average rating: 3.87 · 340 ratings · 43 reviews · 5 distinct works
I Married An Earthling: A N...

3.88 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2000
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Why Aren't You Smiling?

4.10 avg rating — 39 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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4.25 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2004
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Pills, Thrills, Chills, and...

3.73 avg rating — 196 ratings — published 2004
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The Unsinkable Bambi Lake: ...

4.10 avg rating — 30 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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More books by Alvin Orloff…

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Alvin is now friends with Nathan Baker
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There There by Tommy Orange
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This rather sad novel follows twelve Native American Oaklanders as their lives converge in a criminal catastrophe. With no experience of contemporary urban Native life, I'm not qualified to judge the authenticity of the story's milieu, but it did "ri ...more
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Rasputin by Frances Welch
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Entertainingly salacious and macabre, but poorly edited and sorely lacking in historical context and analysis.
The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey
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Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
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Writing fiction with super unsympathetic narrator/protagonists is Moshfegh's shtick, and she sticks to it. The stories in the first half of this collection were mildly diverting, but honestly didn't quite work for me. The characters' unpleasant quali ...more
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The Blessing by Nancy Mitford
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A reasonably amusing comedy of manners, but it lacks the venom of Mitford's other novels. It's also a little slow.
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Literary Rogues by Andrew Shaffer
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This starts out OK, detailing the debauchery of 18th & 19th century authors like Shelley, Balzac, and Poe, who led quite dramatic lives. I lost interest when it got to the early 20th century authors (spoiler alert: they were unhappy and drank a l ...more
Alvin rated a book it was amazing
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
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A tour de force women's prison story that works as either social realism or neo-Noir. Curiously, it shares not only subject matter with the TV series, Orange is The New Black, but structure, with multiple POVs and flashbacks to fill in characters' ba ...more
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Boxcar Bertha by Ben L. Reitman
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A wild, whirlwind tour through early 20th century radicalism, criminality, and hobo living. Though the protagonist is clearly fictional, the world she lives in rings true... at least based on what I know from history books and old movies. And speakin ...more
Sister of The Road by Ben L. Reitman
"The female "You Can't Win," sort of. Belongs on the top shelf of your Hobo Studies collection, or at least of mine."
More of Alvin's books…
“Colin smirks, "The only things I have to do are stay queer and die.”
Alvin Orloff, Gutterboys

“Reagan's going to mess everything up, cutting taxes for the wealthy and getting rid of the safety net and all that. The rich and the poor won't be able to mix socially. The rich will be afraid of getting ripped off or asked for money and the poor won't be able to afford to hang out in the same places anyway. Society's going to be divided by class and instead of expressing themselves, people are going to spend all their time advertising their status. It'll be shallow, like the Eisenhower era. Parties will suck.”
Alvin Orloff, Gutterboys

“I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.”
Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

“It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”
George Orwell

132 Guilty Pleasures — 582 members — last activity Apr 20, 2016 12:03PM
Forum for discussing/recommending queer texts, open to the idea that the definition of "queer" is still in process. Interests in all genres, fiction a ...more
2417 Instant City: A literary Exploration of San Francisco — 27 members — last activity Jan 19, 2009 07:49AM
Books about San Francisco. Books by Instant City authors. Discussions of literary interest in the Bay Area.
87172 Punk Hostage Press — 329 members — last activity Jan 24, 2017 07:26AM
Punk Hostage Press is a not-for-profit book publishing imprint that also acts as a an outreach program to connect writers and contemporary literature ...more
174881 Words As Works — 117 members — last activity Sep 03, 2016 02:09PM
Words As Works With this non-profit venture we hope to coordinate with other publishers, authors, editors, promoters, journalists and further our eff ...more

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message 2: by Alvin

Alvin Hi Debbie,

Wow, great to meet you!


Debbie "DJ" Hi Alvin, thanks for the add. I had no idea you wrote "Why Aren't You Smiling?," it's already on my TBR list!

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