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Hot Pink

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  982 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
Adam Levin’s debut novel The Instructions was one of the most buzzed-about books of 2010, a sprawling universe of “death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth” (Rolling Stone).

Now, in the stories of Hot Pink, Levin delivers ten smaller worlds, shaken snow-globes of overweight romantics, legless prodigies, quixotic dollmakers, Chicagola
Hardcover, 207 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by McSweeney's (first published February 7th 2012)
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Rating details
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Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hey-shorty

i didn't hem and haw over my star rating the way mfso did. this is an easy four stars. i loved reading it, but - nature of the beast - not every story was perfection. i lost no sleep over my rating.


do you want the good news or the bad news?

the good news is, adam levin does not need 2000 pages to make his points.

the bad news is, in some of these stories, i feel like he was unconsciously punishing himself, foot-binding himself into smaller containers so that he didn't spill over int
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
No one probably noticed, but I've been on a bit of a review vacation lately. This is probably good news for the couple of people who have let me know in the last week that no one cares to read about (x) where x is whatever it is that I'm writing about that person y feels is not relevant or not sharing in their own opinion on a matter. Y's opinion of x hasn't been the reason G (that would be for Greg) hasn't been writing reviews, or sharing more x with the world. I've just been feeling overwhelme ...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I hate using stars. I wish I'd never started. I didn't realize you could add books without adding stars until long after having joined Goodreads. It's too late to stop and revise hundreds of ratings. In too deep to turn back now. I think everyone is aware of how problematic and nerve-wracking and inaccurate the stars can be, so I'm going to avoid a boring and prolonged explanation, which has already been given by others many times over on this site. I'll just say that there was a near-constant b ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this is coming out in 2012, it still made my CCLaP best-of-2011 list, because I am awesome (and a proofreader) and I got to read it early.

I'm not really going to tell you much about it because I don't want to blow up McSweeney's spot, but look: Did you like The Instructions ? Did you think it was probably the greatest sprawling modern epic novel of 2010, if not the greatest sprawling modern epic novel ever? Then you will love the short stories in Hot Pink. Maybe not quite as much,
David Katzman
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of experimental writing, unusual short stories, and edgy prose
A sharp collection of spicy experimental stories.

Certainly, the star of this collection is the candy-colored language. Hot Pink is filled with unexpected angles, jarring juxtapositions, and electrically charged word snaps. In other words … Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

I don’t even know what that has to do with this. Nothing, damnit.

I will admit that it took me a while to get into this. The non-realistic narratives threw me off at first, but once I got into the flow of it, the stories
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hot Pink Pussy

1/2 oz Firewater® cinnamon schnapps
1 oz Tequila Rose® strawberry cream liqueur

Chill ingredients before using. Pour Tequila Rose into shot glass and float Firewater schnapps on top.
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Video recensione:
Ne parlo al minuto 11:50
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, short-stories
This is yet another contemporary author who schtick I simply don't get. It's completely possible that my disengagement from popular culture and/or pastimes has made me somewhat of an idiot savant, only conversant in the one or two topics that I'm well informed on and interested in, so if this book is saying something about the youth of today, I may have missed the boat or am simply not cool enough to be in the know.

I guess I was hoping, quite naively, for a jokey, humorous, ironic tone, kind of
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-lit
Adam Levin continues to be amazing. I loved his first novel, The Instructions, and this collection of stories is a worthy successor. Levin's writing has a certain very enjoyable atmosphere that is like nothing I've ever seen anywhere else, and that is very difficult for me to describe (meaning that it's impossible for me to write anything resembling a satisfying review of a Levin book). Something to do with the particularity and peculiarity of moment-to-moment thoughts.

If you're curious about Le
Scott Adelson
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
The literary world is staring at Adam Levin. How could they not? His first novel, massive and reportedly brilliant in both concept and language (The Instructions, 2010) was met with immediate acclaim and comparisons to the late David Foster Wallace. Mercifully, Levin’s follow up, Hot Pink, is a wonderfully manageable, wildly creative and deeply insightful collection of short stories. Love is a theme (though an extremely unreliable ally) for Levin’s characters as they march through personal chang ...more
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Levin's fiction pulsates like flexing muscles. There is a brutal edge to a lot of his writing, though there can also be delicate emotion, that seems to perfectly voice the time in which we are currently living. Sometimes bizarre, these stories are always interesting and prove for me beyond any doubt that Levin's unique voice in "The Instructions" was in no way a fluke but instead heralded the arrival of an important modern writer.
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read Levin's The Instructions yet but it's on my bookshelf and after reading through a galley of his first story collection, Hot Pink, I'm eager to dive into His Big Book. Though the influence of George Saunders comes through from time to time, Levin's stories are something else entirely. Violence is commonplace. Love is sincere but confusing and misguided. And of course they're all funny.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Adam Levin is offbeat, smart, and genuinely funny. He pays attention to people in the margins, and he's as adept in the short story form as in his mammoth novel The Instructions.

Two of the stories in the collection, "Relations" and "How to Play The Guy" felt a little too detached and conceptual for my taste, but it was all interesting, rewarding reading.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Angry young men
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
The first thing you have to understand is that Adam Levin's short-story collection Hot Pink is nothing like his massive—and impressive—novel from 2010, The Instructions. If that sort of sustained impact is what you're looking for, you won't find it here; the stories in Hot Pink are for the most part relatively straightforward slices of (admittedly rather bizarre) life. There's just not as much room to stretch out here as there was in Levin's blockbuster novel.

I didn't always like these pieces, e
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There's something about the way Adam Levin plays with your expectations of innocence. For all the shocking, fucked-up shit they engage in, his characters are psychologically vulnerable and sheltered. In a way, each of the stories in Hot Pink is a study of human interaction as performance; this is how we act when we think others are looking. Hell, this is how we act when no one is looking, when the only person we're trying to fool is the self. The climax of each story tends to be the moment when ...more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's a wonderful thing to discover a new favorite writer, especially a (relatively) young one from whom I expect many great books over the coming years. I already knew I loved Levin's writing a few pages into The Instructions (and then 100 pages in, and then 400 pages in, and then 1000 pages in . . .). The stories in Hot Pink merely solidify that status. My only complaint is that, being exactly Mr. Levin's target demo, I am a subscriber to McSweeney's, and have thus read a number of these storie ...more
Ry Pickard
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
it’s crazy how distinct adam levin’s style is after having published only one book before this. if you read the instructions and then just happened to stumble across one of these stories, it would take you about five pages to figure out who wrote it. his writing is almost like the literary version of a 3d movie: the words feel like they're jumping off of the page. i guess the book could best be described as a collection of really fu#*ed up love stories. i’d been waiting on this to come out for a ...more
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just really love Adam Levin. Even though I didn't necessarily adore the story of every story in this collection, I still loved the delivery so much that I'd rank Hot Pink in my top few short story collections. Mr. Levin's style seems so new and original to me, with just the right amount of experiment and pretension to make me feel smart. And (dare I say it?) something about this book reminded me a bit of DFW. And it made me want to read The Instructions again.

(Major thanks to my cousin Rachel
andrew y
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This was good and I definitely still like Adam Levin and will slavishly follow him through the McSweeney's aisle of the store in my brain, but I felt like I read all the best bits already throughout the different internet establishments (or issues of MSs) lucky enough to get an 'excerpt' of Hot Pink. What was left was not bad but not great and eh but I read the whole thing.
Recommended for specific fans of Levin or people who do not know internet.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictions
Levin's rhetorical, rabbinical style carries this darker and less polished collection. Had I read this first, I would not have predicted The Instructions. I am looking forward to what is next.
Bernadette Herrera
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Written by my former professor who displayed a passion for contemporary short fiction. Experimental writing style, some streams of consciousness and tableau. Animalistic themes pertaining to human nature. Reflective of Chicago culture. Reminiscent of Miranda July meets Kurt Vonnegut with a hint of George Saunders.
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
His stories are disturbing ... brilliantly written, but often emotionally violent, with an undertone, even in adults, of adolescent thinking. Can't put them down, not sure if I like them. And can't wait for his next book.

"The Instructions" was one of a few, all-time favorite books of mine.
Luis Correa
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A lot of these are neat experiments, but it didn't have the room that Levin prospers in. Funny, exciting, and a little strange. Displays the same ferocity and kindness from The Instructions.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the right kind of clever. Fun, heartfelt language gaming throughout. Highlights: Frankenwittgenstein, Jane Tell, Hot Pink.
Simone Subliminalpop
Frankenwittegenstein ☆☆
La fine dolceamara di Susan Falls ☆☆☆
Il fringuello ☆☆☆
Jane Tell ☆☆☆☆
Una crepa nel muro ☆☆
Lui ☆☆
Rosa shocking ☆☆
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Levin's stories are filled with playful language. There are a lot of games in the short volume, which can quickly shift from fun to playing for keeps.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was one of many people who read and was gobsmacked by Adam Levin's very large and funny and totally anarchic debut THE INSTRUCTIONS shortly after it appeared at the beginning of the decade. It was a neural imprinter, that one. I know this because as I was reading HOT PINK (I'm guessing about seven or eight years after reading THE INSTRUCTIONS) I very quickly felt a shiver of recognition. I recognized 'that voice.' It is interesting that HOT PINK begins w/ the story "Frankenwittgenstein" becaus ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love short stories because they are the best of all worlds. If something isn't working, it's over pretty quickly and I haven't burned a bunch of time and mental energy. If something really is working, you get left with the feeling that you could have read so much more of that story, which is endears the writer and story to you. I almost always leave a short story collection feeling happy and excited about the author or authors whom I have just read.

Great hit-to-miss ratio in this volume. I esp
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Disorienting read; Adam Levine’s Hot Pink takes fragments of stories and places them somewhat haphazardly together, creating a disjointed whole. The first two stories of the novel were entertaining. Not unsurprisingly, these seemed to be the only stories with character development and at least a minor attempt to adhere to a logical narrative structure. While Levine’s creativity is unparalleled, his ability to complete thoughts and remain grounded, if only for explanatory purposes, remains largel ...more
Antonio Vena
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le vite, soprattutto sessuali, di personaggi immerse nella contemporaneità dell'Interregno.
Racconti brillanti che sono una sorpresa da questo autore a me prima sconosciuto.
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Adam Levin’s debut novel, The Instructions was published in late 2010. His stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, and Esquire. Winner of the 2003 Tin House/Summer Literary Seminars Fiction Contest and the 2004 Joyce Carol Oates Fiction Prize, Levin holds an MA in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. His collection of ...more
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“You fucked up,' he said. 'Know that you're someone who fucked up. But know that doesn't make you a fuckup. The difference is a matter of repetition” 5 likes
“We can't just have everything without complications, you and I. There'd be no story without complications. With nothing to overcome, we'd die unstoried deaths.” 3 likes
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