Drink, Play, F@#k by Andrew Gottlieb

July 19th, 2010 at 9:53 am

The inevitable satire to the insanely successful Eat, Pray, Love.

Drink, Play, F@#K

It is of similar pseudo-lit as Augusten Burroughs or Tucker Max. Casual, metaphor-laden writing saved only by occasionally humorous anecdotes and imagery. It’s not a complete waste of time as it is short. Take it to the beach or take it on a plane and finish it there.

And leave it there.

Hollywood will inevitably turn Drink, Play, F@#k into a vehicle for Steve Carrell or Vince Vaughn or Paul Rudd.

When will they adapt Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Memories of My Melancholy Whores?

Casting ideas? I’m thinking Peter O’Toole…

I Book

July 15th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

As a matter of principle, I avoid hotels, in any form, at all costs. But I Hotel, like the ones in Vegas, I just couldn’t seem to resist.

I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

The publishers refer to Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel as “This dazzling, multi-voiced fusion of fiction, playwriting, graphic art, and philosophy [that] spins an epic tale…”

On other matters of principle, I am always cautious when the word “epic” gets thrown around like blame after an oil spill. But flipping through its pages, I Hotel does appear to have graphic and stylistic elements in the realm of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, House of Leaves, and VAS.

Which makes me excited. It’s the future of literary storytelling. Language and ideas still dominate, but there is no reason why the form cannot evolve to be more nuanced, interesting, and visual. Novelists have been keeping too many tools in the toolbox for too long.

I’m going to just come out and say it: I am pro e-reader. I’d love to read I Hotel on one. Because the only negative thing about the experience thus far has been holding the damn book up. Because despite its modernist underpinnings, I Hotel is a veritable work in the classic sense. It is not for the easily distracted, weak, or dumb. The paperback I borrowed is over 600 pages.

And isn’t the title clever? Like iPod or MymaxiPad.

The prose, too, is fine. Nibble on this, from page 2:

“Who are we to know that our black daddy Martin with a dream and our little white father Bobby will take bullets to their brains? By the end of the year, we are monkey orphans let loose, raising havoc; no daddies to pull the stops, temper the member; got those wired tails swinging from every rafter, we are free at last, brother, free at last.”

I particularly like “black daddy Martin with a dream,” and “temper the member.”

And here’s some of that philosophy they were talking about earlier:

“There exists an unscientific attitude toward language that results in doctrinal disagreements. We must understand that problems are formulated in words, and that a change in the attitude toward language can help us become understanding listeners.”

She need not continue the obvious: “and therefore fix our fucking problems!”

I’m really looking forward to this one…

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

July 5th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Never mind how I managed to have this on the shelf in the first place, upon learning of its significance to Susan Orleans The White Hotel immediately jumped rank and became The Next Read.

It was not a contentious promotion. I had long been intrigued by the artwork that adorned the pages inside the front cover:

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

To Susan Orleans, veritable author of The Orchid Thief, The White Hotel is one of 40 books that changed her world.

To me, veritable scribe of hope and vengeance, The White Hotel is one of the better books I’ve read in a while.

I’m not done with it yet and am not holding out much hope for it to change my world. No worries, however. Books are personal treasures and like good drugs, do different things for different people at different times.

But at least for now, I am absolutely enjoying the hell out of The White Hotel. Thanks probably to low expectations and ignorance. I spread these pages knowing nothing of D.M. Thomas nor the concerns of his novel in question, other than that which could be gleamed from the picture above. I have since been surprised, humored, intrigued, entertained and a myriad of emotions I hope we all occasionally encounter upon interacting with a work.

Do yourself a favor, read this book. Visit Mr. Thomas’s website and blog. Do your very best to track down the delightful paperback that I found:

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas


These book thingies are fun!!