HEY HEY LONESOME: $6, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, 63 pgs.

Jan 23, 2012

Yes…recently I gave in and bought my ticket for the Roberto Bolaño show, a spectacle that has the literary world buzzing and posthumous writings of his being published with the regularity of serial comics. I read some of his shorter novels and stories, and by the time I downed the 600 pages of The Savage Detectives, I’d had my fill. But now I get the smug satisfaction that comes from being right, because I knew then that one day soon I would have to read the American hipster rip-off of that novel. I was curious—what will it look like? Will it pander to our short attention spans or faithfully rip off the novel’s enormity? Adam Gnade’s new novella gives me the best idea yet. It’s short, yet is told from the perspectives of virtually every character, like Savage Detectives, and no bones are made about the Bolaño influence.He didn’t do such a bad job of it—the writing is fine—but he plods along with the uncertainty of someone who knows they’re dealing with stolen goods. The story concerns a group of Southern Californian teenagers (who, annoyingly, talk, think, and process things like a writer in his late twenties) all on their way to the same party. They do drugs (yawn), fuck or want to fuck each other (yawn), and steal cars for the thrill of it (huh—what—oh, yawn). Sometimes they don’t get along, sometimes they feel kinship with one another, and sometimes they have little revelations. Something dramatic happens near the end. Like most times I’ve ended up at a party I didn’t really know anything about beforehand, I wanted to leave. –Dave Brainwreck (adamgnade.com)

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