Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Person Paperback – October 1, 2010
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From the Inside Flap
"If you read just one book this year, let it be Sam Pink's Person." - Electric Literature
"It made me laugh and my hair stand on end." - HTML Giant
"Sam Pink is dictator of the island of the bizarre." - As You Recognize Your Transience
"...there's a troubling build-up of rage and self-destructive desire that makes Person incredibly unsettling. In other words, he's a great example of why I carry Mace. - The Fanzine
"It's a compulsive page-turner [...] There's something infectious, I think, about the honesty of the book, in how it relates the sometimes unflattering aspects of what goes on in a person's daily life." - The Faster Times
"A meditation on dissatisfaction, desperation, and loneliness...the sort of work that burrows into you and roots down." - Housefire
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 60%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
I don't know what else to say that hasn't been said about this great book.
How about: It's like Steven Wright wrote The Stranger. Or how about: It's like Albert Camus wrote Napoleon Dynamite.
That's not right. I just said that so you'd know I read books and would sound smart. That's not fair to you or Sam Pink.
The plain truth is that this is a really, really good book. He has written a bizarro novel that doesn't resort to using ninjas, zombies or any of that to tell a truly odd story. He is able to find the bizarre in everyday life. He is able to express how weird mundane experiences can be.
This book is seriously funny. I actually laughed really hard when I read it and people who know me know that I don't LOL. Ever.
Also, it manages to be kind of dark and depressing. But not in a whiny sort of way. Honestly, I don't know how to describe this book properly. Just buy it. It's only like seven bucks. Just buy it. If you don't have seven dollars you need to quit messing around on the internet and get a job.
I'm sorry I said that. Just buy this book.
On one hand, moment-to-moment you're hard-pressed to find a better writer who, as everyone else has noted, captures those fleeting thoughts everyone has but has never recorded. He's got some great moments and perspectives.
That said, I couldn't tell the difference between Person and Rontel. Both involved a depressed, witty guy wandering Chicago and were written in the same exact style. I get that there's something unique about a story that goes nowhere beyond a character's head and I enjoy his style, but two stories that go nowhere? I got to the point where I was struggling to justify turning the page because I knew it wasn't going anywhere.
I'd like to see this author push himself more. Apparently this is how he actually talks and thinks, but many readers seem to mistake that for brilliance when I see it as taking the easy way out by stringing together a bunch of unrelated observations for enough pages to justify publishing. That's a lot easier than creating multidimensional characters and action that rises and falls and pays off in some way.
But, maybe that would ruin what makes this great writer stand out from the crowd. At its core, I think the people who relate most to these stories have a rather nihilistic view of the world and these stories echo it. I think the world is great and am driven to do things with my time here, which immediately would make me a target of scorn in one of his books, but his character(s) don't strike me as being above it all. They just seem kinda boring and I don't think they have to be.
The book moves with an easy-to-follow immediacy and includes enough physical description to keep the characters grounded in reality without alienating the reader with excess. Since nothing is made to look unusual, everything is familiar and this draws the reader in.
The Person is definitely a strange guy but his strangeness is so clearly committed to the page that its hard not to relate to him. Strong thoughts, reactions or opinions spring from deep within, but sometimes doubt is immediately on its heels. He is moved to real, genuine emotion by an unexpected experience with a sandwich. He comes to competent life when some manageable, necessary task arises. And interpersonal relationships become complex, intense worlds unto themselves. All this is to say, he's extremely real.
Ultimately I found the book succeeded in making me extremely uncomfortable when I realized it wasn't that different or far from my experience at all. If I cleared all the clutter out of my head... the job, the rent, the neighbor's annoying dog, and the TV...I would find Person lying there underneath.
I believed him and read it.
I believe it to be a good libation to a god.
About the time PERSON was published Pink answered a question about which philosophers interested him: "Right now, I am only interested in Nietzsche and Heidegger. I like Nietzsche because he writes with a happy anger and his work is tonally dynamic for philosophy. I like Heidegger because I haven't read anyone with thought processes like his. So it's a good combination I think and I like to let it indirectly influence what I write: Nietzsche for the wild sweeping joyful negativity and Heidegger for depth of thought."
Speaking of which, be forewarned the negativity quotient in PERSON is off the charts. Thinking negatively, living negatively, and being negatively, the book's unemployed 20-something narrator slumps around in a passive, low-self-esteem, wounded condition ("I have nothing to do. No one expects anything of me right now."). Depressing thoughts come naturally ("One day there will be no evidence of me ever having lived. No evidence identifiable."). It's your choice as a reader whether to imagine such lines delivered in the voice of an anguished existentialist or in the voice of Woody Allen.
In those moments when the narrator is not wholly absent from his own life, he is painfully clinging to it. He yearns for a feeling of connectedness but seems almost reconciled to his apartness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this book listed on a few best of bizarro lists. I thought that the blurb sounded interesting. I was set to really enjoy this, I really was, but did not. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Piper
Depressing. Dark. Disgusting. Sickening. Ugly.
Every aspect of this book is an aspect of suicide; perfect. Read more
I forget what chapter it was--but the one about jimbo had me rolllllling. that was worth the read alone. Read morePublished 14 months ago by jt
Not sure what to say. If you love The Onion then definitely by this.Published 15 months ago by Matt Michaux
This book was worth every penny and time spent reading. It's such a bittersweet, brutally honest, true to life portrayal of a lonely & unable to relate to the chaotic world. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Arretamador
This is one of my favorites, and I have read it a couple times. I enjoy the odd turns of phrase and sense of humor. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kindle Customer
This book made me realize interesting things about myself. To say what would be to ruin the surprise. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Justin Day
I know people with mental issues. I don't need to read their ramblings. I don't enjoy hearing them in person, and I don't enjoy reading them on a page.Published 20 months ago by Tim Thræryn