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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Black Hole - Charles Burns I learned: don't sleep with people who have tails or throat-vaginas that whisper truths in the night.

That's pretty unfair--but I half-expected to find this book falling down one of two critical paths: a) the literalization of body/sex angst would become outright silly or b) the body/sex angst would be altogether too adolescent. (My trusted goodreads commadres Montambo and Jessica not-T situated the book in the "b" pile, here and here, respectively.) Yet I found myself pretty engrossed, in (yes, I'm a dull sucker for puns) every sense of that term.

The art, first and foremost, is first and foremost--gorgeous black-and-white prints, full of textures and over the course of my reading hypnotic. I often found myself lingering, poring over a frame or frames. And the story--while, yes, bound to that almost-but-thankfully-not-completely-allegorical use of a pervasive sick disease nicked from David Cronenberg's "Movie Ideas" Trapper-Keeper--often captures that adolescent malaise where desire, doubt, and existential uncertainty simmer. (Adulthood is where such things get fully baked, or come off the boil and lose all heat, in the sexual entropy of aging.)

This book prompts such high-falutin' chatter, alas. But don't blame the book. I was surprised by how moved I was at novel's end, surprised at the anxiety the book aroused in me. It's pretty damn good.