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you are a little bit happier than i am Paperback – November 1, 2006
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you are a little bit happier than i am has the energy and oddness of a thing that is rising very fast that is not supposed to be rising, or that is supposed to be rising but for a moment you forget that, and for a moment this ordinary thing looks very strange and exciting--sun, ball, airplane, tree. That is Tao Lin's poemish pieces. --Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution
Tao Lin's you are a little bit happier than i am is poetry unadorned, offering a stark portrait of our modern world and its alienation. Pulling no punches, and drawing the reader in with seemingly simple statements, Tao Lin is one of the most inventive and insightful authors I have read this year. --www.largeheartedboy.com
Tao Lin's poetry collection gracefully proves the theorem that nothing can be truly sad if it isn t also funny...Lin's is a harsh, insular world of sadness (the word appears countless times throughout the slim volume), hopelessness and despondency. But for every ounce of drear and self-pity, Lin inserts an arresting aside: this poem has all this between each stanza / ...someone on the largest dose of tylenol cold in the history of the world falling off a sixty-story building at night." --Jeb Gleason-Allured, Timeout Chicago
Reading Tao Lin's you are a little bit happier than i am (Winner of the 2005 December Prize) is reminiscent of covertly eavesdropping on a private conversation over a cup of hallucinogen-spiked black coffee. The reader cannot help but feel a little like a transfixed interloper. The poems are powered by direct, confessional statements which reveal the interior life of a twenty-something year old who is an alternately suicidal and homicidal, infatuated, self-conscious and self-loathing, ambivalent observer/poet. --Aysha Somasundaram, Bookslut.com
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
The surprising concerns in these poems range from the personal to what many readers may resonate with. For example, in the poem "thanksgiving," Lin writes:
i feel most comfortable around middle-class japanese people
i know they are all thinking the same things as me
WHY ARE THE LINES SO LONG?
WHY AM I IN NEW JERSEY?
though their faces appear calm
their thoughts are exactly like i just put them
It does not seem to matter here whether the people are middle-class Japanese or middle-class any-other-American-or-foreigner. Lin points out how anyone might feel in this situation: the lines are long, and (more philosophically) why New Jersey? The contrast between calm faces, yelling interior monologue, the poet himself and Japanese people proves humorous when one reads Lin's conclusion to the poem "we just want to get our food/ and eat it/...and go to sleep."
An uniquely enjoyable, highly recommended collection. Tao Lin's other books include Bed, Eeeee Eee Eeee, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
this book started out a little strong.
i really wasn't expecting that.
i mean JESUS.
an AXE &a CELL PHONE?
too many things. too soon.
it got a little racist
and that's good
because i hate
It's easy to see why Tao Lin rocketed to the top of the literary sweetheart list after this collection was published. If anything, that's likely due more in part to his prose and short-stories/novels than this book of poetry, but I'd like to believe the rawest, most sincere facets of his voice are embodied in You Are A Little Bit Happier Than I Am. The honesty, sincerity, and disarming sparsity that are now hallmarks of Lin's style are all here in their primeval form, and the effect is to create a delightful war in the reader's mind between wanting to hug the author as an entity, and also to berate him for being such a mopey sad-sack. The 'whining child' persona that some of Lin's dis-creditors have ascribed to him since his rise to fame is at full form here, but it's easy to cut Lin a break when his moments of agonizing honesty and sincerity break through.
Frankly, if anything has made me want to read more of Lin's work, this is it. I felt a mix of happy irony and earnest melancholy bleed through on almost every page: even when experimental poems repeated the same line over and over, or began sentence after sentences with rambling conjunctions, it seemed obvious to me that Lin didn't have anything other than sincerity in his efforts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tao Lin is just a bit too obscure for me and the humor is also not exactly what I hoped for..Published on August 6, 2013 by Robert W. Mohs
Some of the pages are introspective, others are disturbing with entries that refer to killing. In the climate of our times, that kind of writing needs not be lauded in the wake of... Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by Stewart
Tao Lin's poetry is an acquired taste. This slim volume presents a good survey and introduction to what he does, or is trying to do.Published on July 25, 2013 by Kenso
I may just not be a fan of his writing style. I can read Sam pink over and over but i'm really struggling to get through this one.Published on March 2, 2013 by Carol
Ever since my dad met Tao, he's always told me that he likes him, that he "likes his awkwardness." I don't think he's ever read any of Tao's books except for a few poems from this... Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Jordan Castro