Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beautiful children

no this blog is not dead I just got my mind wasted and razed while reading infinite jest which may seem a little surprising.

or not so surprising. But infinite jest was one of the greatest books I've read, and I still feel kind of in shock, kind of like a little burnt out in my vision, now like about two-three weeks later.
Anyways I just finished the charming novel beautiful children by charles bock. A debut novel that had an interesting marketing campaign, including this fake intro to a porn movie, imitating one scene from the movie. It's viewable at And its weird.

Charles Bock is not your typical novelist...he seems a bit nerdy...i'm listening to an interview with him right now and his voice is kind of high-pitched and like that of a scrawny guy, kind of whiny.

However, I have to say that this book is straight up fucking bad ass, dope as shit. Definitely better than Lowboy, for example. Bock has got insanity coming out his ears and filth. Lot of filth. you've got the kid running away, the homosexual leaning teen, the stripper, her lascivious hustler boyfriend, the runaways, the drug addicts, the pregnant teen getting fucked up on drugs, the father's masturbation, the mother's horrifying frigidity, etc, there's more. (the book goes back and forth through an immense amount of time. the plot is structured around 10-12 hours on one day but covers years into the past and future). bock also clearly knows how to write very he just faking it? no! no? in terms of literary music, he's masterful. he weaves things together brilliantly, he's also very funny. hilarious at points. horrifying at points. at points very very sad... at one point he gets into this lengthy grotesque scene where ponyboy is getting interested in the porn biz and watches a lot of videos. Simultaneously father lincoln has been watching a lot of porn. For several pages, there are groteseque descriptions of the kind of porn films that all guys watch. Suddenly he writes the two characters write next to each other in a paragraph, even though they're very far apart from each other and never meet in the book. It's chilling, it's haunting, it sticks with you. read the fucking book...

let me put it this way. its not so much a plot novel as a trippy, hypnotic, extremely visual, extremely musical dirty flickery bright fun neon story. so many different voices and characters that none of them get boring...they're all fresh and dirty.

This poster for a reading later became the paperback cover. (which was a brilliant move. I heard about the book before it was published and thought Bock sounded like a fucking loser -- 10 years working on a novel? -- but was intrigued, thought the plot sounded better than the typical shit. so it stuck in my mind. i saw the hardcover and felt like my suspicions were confirmed. it was a bit of a bland cover, frankly. (although all new novels have shit covers almost always). and anyways, yes its true I judge books by the cover, I see the paperback with the young lady below, and bam. knew it was going to be good -- what could be better than sitting on the subway with a book with a picture of a girl reading a book?

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