‘He’s like a kid who has so much to say he thinks he’ll die if he doesn’t get to say it all, right away.’


There’s a curious silence that follows releasing a book that can only be described as the silence of the grave. You might hear bells tolling mournfully in the distance, the howl of a lone wolf or the sound of your own profuse sobbing but mainly it’s long, cold silence, the silence between planets or on the ocean floor. It’s wonderful then to have some sound echoing back in the form of reviews and it’s very kind of people to take the time to write them. I’ve been thinking mainly about the cities book I’m writing for Influx and an MA I’m about to start, abject poverty permitting, so the Gainsbourg book hasn’t been much on my mind and I safely assumed it had sunk without trace. Then I noticed a solitary review on Amazon.com, where the book floats face-down in the latrine as the half-millionth most popular on the site. The review is arguably more entertaining than reading the book itself and contains several lines (“Wow! Sheer teen boy power…”) that I’d like to include on the front cover of future books. My girlfriend kindly informs me that the line in the title of this post is depressingly accurate about both my personality and writing. Pity her.

Reading further into the gentleman’s reviews, there are so many genuinely brilliant lines and asides that I found myself reading page after page, which given they’re Amazon reviews is saying something. They remind me of a Daniel Clowes comic book, given they’re smart, perceptive and funny. He has a great way with words. Here are some highlights,

“If I was his mother I’d be very proud but when he came home for vacation I’d think twice about shaking his hand, little Jonny with his penis shaven…”

“Seeing my shards withstand the rough San Francisco weather over four seasons I began wondering, “Who *was* Staffordshire?” and “How did he manage to make such indestructible pottery?”

“My father was an absent-minded scientist and would eat iron filings if you put them on his plate.”

“On the fifth hand, those hot pants were not your idea and I’m glad you’re finally admitting as much.”

“My Irish grandfather used to keep a bottle of MacKenzie’s smelling salts next to his desk.”

“With my own collection of tongue depressors and ice cream bar sticks, I have begun to create my own allegorical furniture and have gone so far as to push a cat up one contraption, to mixed results.”

“Martine McCutcheon isn’t violently slim like Kate Moss, but she’s attractive (in a weird way, almost as though she didn’t have enough features in her face)”

“His hands are fully operable and will wrap themselves around any elongated object.”

“Agatha Christie’s Venereal Horror.”

Sincere thanks for the entertaining review and the 5 stars, if you ever read this sir, it made something I’d partially given up on seem worthwhile and it made my day.

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