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Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
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"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks

"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin

"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers I once heard George Carlin describe being a fan of jazz as "not just hearing the notes that are played, but know WHY they are being played".Okay, so why THESE notes? Why not others?Here's the thing: I love self-realization, self-awareness, particularly from those in the public spotlight. I love bizarro fiction, unusual uses of typography, etc. It's great.So what I've found myself saying a lot with this book is that I enjoyed how Eggers was telling his story, but no so much the story itself.It's funny though, because just as I would think "this is dull, why this format, etc" the book would become self-aware and Eggers would address such concerns and insert himself in the story, having John or Toph or some other character act as a mouthpiece, a sort of devil's advocate. He even admits to using bells and whistles, and being self-important, and not really being owed anything, but still carries on without really changing. In the appendix he says he dislikes his former self, but becomes defensive at the idea of the ending being almost like a parody of Ulysses (C'mon, man, you gotta at least say it was heavily influenced by that), and challenges everyone to write a memoir. Whatever, okay. I'm going to read more of his work, and I'm going to hope this is my least favorite book of his. Maybe it's because I never really connected with the story itself and I'm annoyed that through it all, I never cared about his story, his family, or what happened to Toph. At all. Really. Sorry, man. I know, I know, I'm a heartless bitch, I wonder if I'm a sociopath sometimes, but hey! It's like you kept saying "I'm owed" and the other character would insist "You're not." Because no, you're not. Life happens and you deal. That's easy for you to say, both your parents are alive.Yup. I'm not going to list off all the bad shit that happened to me like it's some sort of sadness resume, excuses to be a jerk. I'm like this because I have a mental deficiency, a broken brain. Whatever, I don't care.Wait, you don't care?Not really, no. Would bitching nonstop make me not bipolar? Nope. Who cares? Shit. There are people out there who have had horrible fucking lives, and there are people far sicker than me.Then there are those who have had fairly easy lives and are perfectly healthy.Sure, why not? It's all kind of boring to me. And yeah, if I write a memoir, it'll have some bells and whistles too. But what I think went wrong here was wallowing too much in it. I mean, CHUNKS of text with no breaks. A literary gimmick going on too long. At least House of Leaves played with shit and created visual vertigo with its use of odd typography, you know?Are you sure you're not just jealous? I mean, he's obviously brilliant and you want to read more even though you clearly didn't enjoy much of this book.Me? Jealous? Dude, I'm bipolar. For most of my young life I thought I was the reincarnation of John Lennon....What?Yeah. Then I realized that was impossible on a lot of levels and then thought I was possessed by him. Then I just figured I'd be the NEXT John Lennon.Wait, WHAT?Yeah, and I thought I could control other people with my mind, I could control the future, I was a demon, I was a witch, I was possessed, I was sent from hell, I was...You're fucking crazy.Bipolar. Told you that. So no, I don't really get jealous. I just want more for me. And I want to earn it. And I've been bullied literally my whole life, so I'm numb to insults. Fuck it.So this review...Is kind of in the format this book was in. Yeah. And it goes ON. I mean, I was marking the ends of sections to see how much further I had to go. I didn't do that with Night Film, I just read the shit out of it and was hooked, intrigued. That's what great reading is. As a reader, I shouldn't have to talk myself into reading more. I should enjoy myself, or at least want to read more. I mean, shit, I enjoyed the hell out of 1984 and A Clockwork Orange and Lolita and those are not happy books, so that's not an excuse.So why not one star?Because there is genius in this book, and in Dave Eggers. I just don't want to hear any more about his life story or Toph because I do not give a shit. Almost 500 pages and I don't give a shit. I think that's sad. I care more about the fictional characters in The Butterfly Clues than I do about these two real guys who survived tragedy.Hmm.Analyze me all you want, but I'm not alone. This book has 4 stars and 1 stars all over the place. It's like...oh god...City of Bones, but at least I can say with a straight face that Eggers is brilliant. Cassandra Clare, obviously, is not. So...So what? That's what I'm left with. So what? I will read more, and if he starts in on his life and shit, I might DNF. I don't know. Whatever. It's my taste. My review. Fuck it. I'm not owed, no one is owed. It's how it is. Fuck it.Fuck it.Yeah, fuck it. Honestly, I think we're all better off reading more of Henry Rollins's work. Now there is a bona fide genius.Shit yeah.See? We're not so different.So if you're asking if I recommend this book, the best I can do is reply with a smile and a shrug.Three stars. Fuck it.