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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 36 reviews
on September 8, 2015
1) I remember relating to some of the relationship problems the main characters were having. 2) I remember constantly, reflexively superimposing the fiction over the author and his IRL life (in real life life), feeling unable to not do that, which was interesting. 3) I remember making an effort to suspend judgment of the Haley Joel Osment character. 4) I remember being bored at times. 5) I remember being moved. 6) I found the way it ended very beautiful. 7) It made me examine my behavior in the relationship I was in at the time.
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on July 27, 2011
I agree with the other reviewers that say this novel is high on style but low on substance, that it's affected. I like that it's slow-burning and constantly shifting, and the way my brain gets into a new grove of reading/hearing/seeing facts and short statements, so that my perception of the world is changed for a bit when I stop reading and go to make dinner, or whatever. Never mind its main characters are sort of terrible -- and not in a compelling way, just in a, oh, come on, sort of way.

But when I allowed my suspension of disbelief to snap, when I stopped trusting the author, it all came crumbling down, and I couldn't read more than a few sentences without rolling my eyes. It felt like listening to the kid in your freshman dorm who seemed so wise and fascinating, and then meeting him again three years later and thinking he's just full of it. The type who wears lamé American Apparel leggings and an artfully holey American Apparel tank top at 3 pm on a Wednesday in the Lower East Side. Just, no thanks.

To get a feel for the style of the writing, check out some of the other reviews here, especially the top ones. They're written in the same way as the book. Short sentences with simple structures that say facts. One after another. Maybe repeating words from the previous one, to really dig deep. Seems fresh at the beginning, and I liked doing the extra work that this style masterfully encourages, but after a while, it just grated on me.

Worth picking up to see what all the fuss is about, and I can't wait to see what Tao Lin does when his less-than-subtle style matures a bit. But for now, this isn't my favorite book. Even though I'm in my 20s and live in Brooklyn.
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on August 6, 2013
Book arrived on time and in good condition...I like Richard Yates, but this book not so much...maybe it will take some time to connect with Tao Lin.
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on November 8, 2014
He may have a thing with underage girls with low self esteem but he is a fun writer.
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on October 6, 2011
If you have a hard time reading novels anymore, there's something different here. Reading 'Richard Yates' almost seems way too easy.

I will give this book to my brother (not a book reader) this weekend & know he won't be able to put it down. It's upsetting and really funny.

The characters:
You're face to face with people you know -- or are afraid of -- or for.
If you don't know people like this or identify with them a bit; you may feel revolt, you will want to look away, but you won't.

What else? -- just looking forward to more work from the writer.
More life & death defying steps across the street.
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on July 25, 2013
If you're into Tao Lin, this is a good book. He's a deeply acquired taste, but "Richard Yates" is a much more linear novel than his past work.
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on July 18, 2015
I hate and love Tao Lin. Mostly I hate him. There is no room for grey in this psrticular story though. Seems to be a story of when he was clearly abusive in his relationship, yet disgusting sold as him having an overly attached partner.
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on January 2, 2011
Tao Lins style. Well that's what divides people. The fact that very quickly you become entranced by a voyouristic narrative shouldn't. Personally I'm indifferent to his matter of fact style because it presents an intrigueing story as a whole. If it didn't then I wouldn't even bother with this type of style, it's tedious at times and I tend to skim and not miss much. But in the end I get it.
The lifted gmail chats are what really make you feel a voyuer and what you find through them is a terrible mirror held up to the characters. I like this novel comparatively to his other work in that it's less desolate. There ARE characters, not just random encounters. Tao Lin works on the fringe, he trys to present the world as it is, where no one changes, most things bore us and everyone is two dimensional. This is the edge of tolerable literatere and it takes a real talent to make us sit on the edge with him and not walk away. To defy the conventional aproach to creating an entertaining story. This is why he divides. And I'll take what he presents: an indiference to life and apply it to his work.
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on April 7, 2013
love this guy he writes with diamond precision his prose are neatly whittled down minimalist masterpieces with infinite scope into the complex and often funny human condition
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on December 21, 2010
so far on this forum, there have been no haters. but, i never knew a thing about tao lin before reading a negative review of this book in a book review magazine. the nature of the negativity was such that i felt that the book was going to be a fine read.

i loved the style - it fit the subject matter and seeming "point" of the piece. what you have here is two people in a destructive, all-consuming relationship that is portrayed as having no defined beginning point or end point. the feeling you get in reading this book is one of miscommunication, which is a natural feeling you might get considering the medium through which the characters are communicating. all is to be inferred, and meaning is made as much by the words on a page (screen) as by the insecurities of the characters interacting with the words on the screen.

how can you ever really know someone? what is truth in a relationship? unless you are with a person 100% of the time, how can you know what they are up to? isn't gchat and texting etc. advertised as something that would help us stay closer to each other? then why the ability to lie so freely? or, is it just changing our perception of what a lie is? it seems that lies, in tao lin's book are defined in a way i would define secrets, or even as banal information remaining unknown for any number of reasons. is this a function of our newer ways of communicating? that a lie is anything that is unknown... lots to deal with in lin's book concerning the relationship between love and communication.

the mother character didn't make a lot of sense to me. i couldn't tell what her motives or true nature were. and, the end was frustratingly ambiguous - unless i missed something. that's why no 5 stars from me. a great read though!
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