Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Bullshit review

Sorry to have one on top of another, but here's my 4 sentence review of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn.

I tried this book a couple of years ago and ended up selling my copy after reading about 40 pages, but after meeting someone who worked with the author at Pine Street Inn, I gave it another shot. I'm glad I did, but Christopher rightly said that he found the narrator unreliable, and I'm afraid I found this as well. I was fascinated by the story of the author's father and his life, and I was horrified by the tragic early life of the author, but I found the author's clever asides and parenthetical allusions and occasional attempts at literary style (including a chapter in dialogue format, which I just had to skip) frustrating. He has his moments, and I particularly appreciated his handling of the inevitability of inheritance, as he comes to grip with his estranged father's delusions of being a writer as a writer himself, and it was an easy read, but it could have used perhaps one or two more edits to tighten it up, focus it, and really have it deliver, without MFA pretensions.

Outside of my 4-sentence review, let me just say how much I love the title and packaging. Fantastic!

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