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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Paperback – May 1, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Tao Lin's poetry passes by slacker era irony and self–indulgent formalism to dig up something deeper and more human, even when that something seems on first reading to merely be depressed hamsters.”
—Jeffrey Brown, author of Clumsy and Little Things

“I hope this new publisher uses my blurb this time. I was a little sad that the other one didn't use it. They could have sold tens of copies if they'd put my blurb on that book. But this book is better; these poems are serious and funny and more than they appear. I am a big fan of Tao Lin's writing and this book makes me happy.”
—Matthew Rohrer, author of A Green Light and Rise Up

About the Author

Tao Lin is the author of the novels Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee, the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the story collection Bed, and the poetry collections cognitive-behavioral therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am. His work has been translated to twelve languages and he lives in Manhattan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 101 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House; 1 edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933633484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633480
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tao Lin (b. 1983) is the author of three novels--Taipei (2013), Richard Yates (2010), and Eeeee Eee Eeee (2007)--a novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel (2009), a story collection, Bed (2007), and two poetry collections: cognitive-behavioral therapy (2008), you are a little bit happier than i am (2006). His writing has been published by Granta, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, New York Observer, Poetry Foundation, Vice, Noon, Mississippi Review, and other venues. He edits Muumuu House, a literary publisher, and has taught a class called The Contemporary Short Story in Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program. (Photo by Noah Kalina.)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
i think a lot about this book and tao lin's other books

the first time i read this i was so excited i read it all in one sitting

it is hard for me normally to read more than three poems in one sitting

i normally stand up and do something else

there are a lot of poems that have multiple parts to it like in the books BAD BAD by chelsey minnis or ANGLE OF YAW by ben lerner but different because of the hampsters and sadness and other things

the poem 'are you okay?' made me so sad that i had to stop reading and lie down on the couch and think for a minute

my friend asked me if this book is funny like his other book of poety and i said 'no, no it is never funny. i didn't laugh once while reading it' and i did not realize that was true until i said it even though i lied a little

some parts are actually very funny, but not funny in a way that makes me laugh out loud, but just makes me smile and feel 'consoled'

i just opened the book and looked at 'ugly fish poem, part one' and read this sentence: "and i have swum fast; any speed that exists i have swum at that speed"

that makes me laugh i don't know why

this book made me sad a lot and i don't think i will look at it as much as 'you are a little bit happier than i am' but that is okay, because that book made me excited about life and stuff in ways that few things ever have, i don't know
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Format: Paperback
Tao Lin's poetry in this collection flirts between brutally honest open analogy, creative metaphor, and complete rambling inanity. Sadly, most of the poems lean towards the latter - nonsensical analogies and word-choices abound, as well as repetition, whiny language, and sentence after sentence with no substance or meaning to grip on to. I liked the bits in-between larger sections that glimmered with insight or tangible depression, communicating the emotion of the author effectively, but mostly it felt like a series of blog posts were put into a paper-shredder and vomited out onto paper.

I might venture a 2.5 if one was available, but as is, I wouldn't recommend this collection. Parts of it were enjoyable and easy to digest, but mostly it felt like a slog through vaguely neurotic vocabulary exercise and masturbation.
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Format: Paperback
Tao Lin’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy convey a much deeper sense of loneliness than initially expected, and explores what it means to be human. He describes his experience editing the poetry, laying out “every page on the floor in order…staring at it from different angles.” This approach to the poetry reflects his view on the complex subject matters, as they seem to present multiple perspectives. For example, he introduces the dualism in “my favorite emotions include ‘brief calmness in good weather’ and ‘I am the only person alive’” introducing the paradoxical concept that people are consistently torn between feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of others, and also simultaneously being terribly lonely. Lin explores the concept of “meaninglessness,” reflected in his desire to “publish a book where [he] can ‘just put all [his] s*** into it’ in a random order” as people seem to like his “screwing around.” The aimless wandering of his poetry from various subject matters reflects a stream of consciousness style of writing, as if Lin is parsing the limits of his mind and the expanses of his imagination. The major theme of loneliness is particularly present in “ugly fish poem, part one” that discusses the emotion of alienation from his peers, calling himself “an alone ugly fish” and using extreme words such as “grotesque.” The term fish elucidates being out of one’s comfort zone like a fish out of water, awkward and struggling for breath. Furthermore, he utilizes the metaphors to describe himself, as a “concrete manifestation of [his] emotional center” of a “skinned red onion.” The act of skinning an onion causes one to cry—perhaps by revealing the core of his raw emotions in a visual red, he is he is hinting at the fragility of his emotions.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book was the first time I can distinctly remember thinking in depth about the way I view my relationship between my thoughts, feelings, and actions. Some of the philosophy expressed in these poems helped me, and still helps me, feel less bad about things, via viewing feelings as results of thinking and knowing that I'm able, to a large degree, to choose/control the way I react to [external thing/situation]. The poems in this book explore things like cognitive-behavioral therapy, publically owned companies vs. independently owned companies, hamsters, and relationships, among other things.

I enjoy reading these poems. I like how concise the poems are. They seem intentional and intelligent. I grinned a lot while reading the poems with hamsters as characters and felt pensive while reading most of the poems. I feel like this book could help a lot of people.

This is one of my favorite poetry books. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have decided that in spite of the provocative titles Tao Lin is perhaps not for me...perhaps for another person
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