Paul Bryant's Reviews > The Body Artist

The Body Artist by Don DeLillo
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Aug 23, 2011

bookshelves: to-not-read-ever

THERE'S 1000 STORIES IN THE CITY OF GOODREADS - THIS IS ONE OF THEM - Yes, Another Dreadful Reviewer/Author Encounter


I surfaced into consciousness unwillingly like a resurrecting Jesus with too much alimony to pay. A slap to the chin and I remembered whose cleancut chiselled features were going to be framing the next supercilious question.

"Feeling better, Mr Bryant?" Yes, of course. It was The Don. But I wasn't going to go quietly.

"Not really, you post-modern gargoyle of unmeaning. You can take your silvery convolutions of ungrammatical feverdreams and shove them where the sun has never shone in a cavern measureless to man down to a sunless sea, O Felchmeister of the English tongue."

Crack. That was my head bouncing off the dingy walls of whatever foul rag and bone shop DeLillo had me banged me up in.

"Less of your mouth, and more of mine," he sneered.

I felt two pairs of strong arms grip me from each side. I caught a glimpse of DeLillo's vile acolytes. Just as I guessed. Steve Erickson on one side and yep, the notorious transvestite Bret Easton Ellis (“Bretsy” to his friends, of which there aren’t any) on the other. They were giggling like schoolgirls.

“Oooh, the things he said about me, and in public!”

“Oooh, let’s do page 149 and then page 301!”

"You won't get away with this," I grunted.

"We will, you know, we aren't in the YA business and we're not going to blog about this!" hissed Bretsy.

The Don told them to shut up and they squeaked into silence. It was pretty clear to me that there were American postmodern novelists and there was The Don. His very eyebrow had been reviewed ecstatically in the NYRB more times than all the others' entire sets of genitalia. And they knew it. And now he was heating up a pair of ordinary garden secateurs over a pile of remaindered early Franzen novels ( the ones before Oprah spotted him).

“Snip snip, Mr Bryant. One snip for every nasty little thing you said about me in your nasty reviews, and one more for encouraging your friends to mock me in surrealistic boxing match fantasies, and a final little snip for my two good buddies who have been really quite hurt by the dreadful things you say. I suppose you wish us all to write like your precious but sadly dead Raymond Carver? Hmm? ‘And then this sad alcoholic fell over and then this other sad alcoholic went shopping for a mop. The end.’ Is that it? That’s how you want us all to write?”

I was about to demolish his crude travesties of my crude travesties of his and his good buddies’ rancid fictions – I had vowed wild horses wouldn’t get me to remind him that I’d given five stars to Libra – but the application of the secateurs to my dorsal extremeties put an end to rational thought. I heard the terrible giggling of Bretsy – “Just one more finger, please! Hee hee!” and I pitched back into the welcome abyss of no more book reviews ever.
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Reading Progress

05/10 marked as: assorted-rants-about-stuff
10/22 marked as: to-read
02/09 marked as: assorted-rants-about-stuff
10/08 marked as: some-random-codedy-stuff
10/08 marked as: some-random-comedy-stuff
10/08 marked as: to-not-read-ever

Comments (showing 1-16)




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message 16: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye In the rematch of the rematch, I will have Deadly Don strap you to a dentist's chair.


message 15: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye I've never heard of Steve Erickson.
I'm not sure I'll like him, his hair is too long and curly.


message 14: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue Smith I got through one of The Don's books. It cured me. Thanks for the heads up on Steve Erickson!


message 13: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim But I like The Don's books! (smiling nervously)


message 12: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Bryant you can walk the streets without fear then...


message 11: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim "...of course, you're only as good as your last envelope." - Paulie Gaultieri


message 10: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth King I fail to see the merit of writing what you wrote. If you don't like something, explain, if not, explain. No need for hyperbolical near-schizophrenic word waste.


message 9: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Bryant I apologise.


message 8: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Seth wrote: "I fail to see the merit of writing what you wrote. If you don't like something, explain, if not, explain. No need for hyperbolical near-schizophrenic word waste."

Couldn't you have cut that down to "No need for waste" ? Just sayin...


message 7: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Bryant To be a little more constructive, I have spent quite some time in other reviews being rude to Don DeLillo and Brett Easton Ellis and I thought it was time they got their own back on me. The above was written for a specific few of my GR friends to enjoy.


message 6: by ·Karen· (new)

·Karen· This stands on its own merits. A highly entertaining piece of writing. Full stop.


message 5: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice I underappreciated Underworld, and because of that read a second, I think it was The Body Artist, that I appreciated even less.


message 4: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Bryant If you wrote any cruel reviews they will get you too!


message 3: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye ·Karen· wrote: "This stands on its own merits. A highly entertaining piece of writing. Full stop."

That's what we pay him for!


message 2: by Jan (last edited Sep 06, 2013 06:12PM) (new)

Jan Rice Paul said to me (re insufficient DeLillo appreciation):
"If you wrote any cruel reviews they will get you too!"

It was BGR (Before Goodreads) and long before it had even occurred to me to keep lists. But now I'd better watch out....


message 1: by Lilo (new)

Lilo If deLillo's writings have done any good, it can only be that they inspired Paul to write wonderful, acid reviews.


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