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Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin

Shoplifting from American Apparel

by Tao Lin

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heh. ( )
  poolspy | Aug 21, 2013 |
I'm getting the impression that if you like one Tao Lin book, you'll pretty much like them all but I don't know as if they are quite as dramatic if you read them back to back. It throws you ajar to read them at first when you've been reading novels with safer and more traditional writing styles attached, for example.

In any case, one thing that helped me connect less to this main character was how flippant he was about all these girls and female relationships..well, maybe not so much flippant but incapable of forming a long lasting attention..even possibly incapable of making sincere and emotional facial expressions. I did like the connection of the main character wanting to write a story that basically became what is Eeeee Eee Eee.

Oh, and this one takes place in NYC vs. mainly Florida so there's a slightly different vibe there. Also, I liked the ending quite a bit.

p.s. Yes, they are just inanimate objects but shoplifting was so post-yesterday.

Favorite quotes:

pg. 19 "Oscar Wilde said that a genius is a spectator to their own life, to the point that the real genius is uninteresting."

pg. 78 "I just want to be crying in someone's arms."

pg. 97 "I have an idea or something," said Sam. "We should start from very far away and then run toward each other and then give each other high fives jumping in the air." "Let's do it," said Audrey beginning to stand. "No wait," said Sam. "It's better just to think about it."

( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
heh. ( )
  alono | Dec 11, 2011 |
Look, people have shit on those who write for a new zeitgeist pretty much since publishing evolved from the Gutenberg Press to a more accessible means of conveying ideas. Truman Capote demeaned Kerouac. Half the people I know would like to kill Holden Caulfield if he were a real human. Douglas Coupland mined his generation so thoroughly that some think he wrote himself into a place of relative irrelevance, and Bret Easton Ellis’s scathing examination of 1980s consumer culture, American Psycho, is one of the most misunderstood books ever. Books that speak of a people who may not be our own, or of a culture that is different, or of a people who may be our own but are so morally bereft we can’t admit it, run the risk of being seen as poorly written or inexplicable or exploitative. Moreover, this most commonly happens when the middle-aged make the mistake of thinking they have a finger on the pulse of the young when they don’t, walking into new works clutching their own ideas of art, connection and social relevance like so many pearls.

I can tell you with no small amount of emphatic anger that this is not that, a woman long in her tooth clutching pearls at the antics of These Kids Today. This book is so foul that I didn’t even have to second guess myself. This book is such an egregious piece of shit hiding behind what many consider to be hipster culture that it sickens me that people got taken in by it. To paraphrase the late, great Dorothy Parker, this not a book to be tossed aside – it is a book to be thrown with great force, preferably at a picture of Tao Lin that one has printed out from the Web and taped to a bean bag chair. You can read my entire review here: http://ireadoddbooks.com/shoplifting-from-american-apparel-by-tao-lin/ ( )
1 vote oddbooks | May 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Lin is doing his best to capture a mid-twenties malaise, a droning urban existence that—in the hands of a mildly depressed narrator—never peaks nor pitches enough to warrant drama.
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Sam woke up around 3:30 p.m. and saw no e-mails from Sheila.
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