Synopses & Reviews
Tao Lin's book blog, ReaderofDepressingBooks.com, has made him one of the most talked-about young writers on the scene today. His commentaries taking mainstream writers to task and calling for the death of commercial writing have generated nonstop discussion and made him the subject of innumerable profiles on leading cultural websites, from McSweeney's to Bookslut to Gawker and on. Meanwhile, his fiction appears regularly in the 'zines and websites defining the new culture.
All this while still an undergraduate at New York University where Lin won the school's prestigious writing award.
Less than a year after graduating, Lin meets and surpasses all expectations in a debut novel set in the bizarre alternative reality of today's youth culture. EEEEE EEE EEEEis a pleasingly sophisticated work, an unself-conscious yet commanding tour de force about the search for meaning in a culture gone mad with celebrities and advertising.
Depicting a group of friends transitioning between school and adulthood, Lin's prose is strikingly stylish, funny, and lyrical, as he reminds us that youth is still-refreshingly-a time of deep questioning, poignant realization, fun, and hope. It is a place where animals talk, books and music matter, honesty counts, and you can ask, without fear of embarrassment, "What's a Jhumpa Lahiri?"
It is a sparkling, joyous debut.
"Poet and blogger Lin's debut novel uneasily documents the life of Andrew, a recent college graduate working at Domino's Pizza while over-analyzing every aspect of his life: past, present and futureless. He drives through the suburbs reminiscing about college life in New York and his ex-girlfriend, stopping occasionally to express his boredom to his best friend Steve. When at one point, Andrew states that he wants to 'wreak complex and profound havoc' upon capitalist establishments such as McDonald's, it feels like Lin is attempting the same kind of attack on organized art. The novel, while short on plot, makes abrupt shifts in setting and point of view, and is pierced throughout by celebrity cameos and surreal touches: bears, dolphins (who say 'Eeeee Eee Eeee' to express emotion, in spite of their ability to speak like humans), Salman Rushdie, and the president make grandiose declarations that are heavily saturated with the same sardonic wit displayed by Andrew and his friends. The novel dips dangerously into metafiction, with Andrew in the middle of 'writing a book of stories about people who are doomed.' The characters' repetitive thoughts and conversations become strangely hypnotic, however, and Lin's sympathetic fascination with the meaning of life is full of profound and often hilarious insights." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Tao Lin will kick your ass and say thank you afterwards!" Amy Fusselman, author of The Pharmacist's Mate
“Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass—from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious.”
- Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You
“Tao Lin is the most distinctive young writer I've come upon in a long time: the most intrepid, the funniest, the strangest. He is completely unlike anyone else.”
- Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening
Confused yet intelligent animals attempt to interact with confused yet intelligent humans, resulting in the death of Elijah Wood, Salman Rushdie, and Wong Kar-Wai; the destruction of a Domino's Pizza delivery car in Orlando; and a vegan dinner at a sushi restaurant in Manhattan attended by a dolphin, a bear, a moose, an alien, three humans, and the President of the United States of America, who lectures on the arbitrary nature of consciousness, truth, and the universe before getting drunk and playing poker.
“Tao Lins fiction will kick your ass and say thank you afterwards!”
- Amy Fusselman, author of The Pharmacists Mate
About the Author
Tao Lin's writing has appeared in the Mississippi Review, the Cincinnati Review, Punk Planet, Bear Parade, Other Voices, Nerve, and Noon. He is the winner of the One Story short story contest and New York University's undergraduate creative writing prize, and is the author of a poetry chapbook entitled You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am, which won the Action Books prize. His blog is called "Reader of Depressing Books." He was born in Virginia in 1983, grew up in Florida, and currently lives in Brooklyn.