Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Crust the Hot Topic.

On Boston Globe's Brainiac Blog, Joshua Glenn has written a piece on Lawrence Shainberg's "hotly anticipated novel "Crust".

The Opening to the Article: "It's finally here! I'm talking, of course, about "
Crust," the hotly anticipated novella by Lawrence Shainberg, author of "Memories of Amnesia" (a neurosurgically acute piece of fiction in which a brain reports on its own deterioration), not to mention one of the most entertaining books I've ever read about Zen Buddhism, "Ambivalent Zen." The literati have been buzzing about this book for a couple of years now, so I almost thought it was an April Fool's joke when it arrived in the mail.

"Published by Two Dollar Radio, Shainberg's footnote-laden, Vonnegut-worthy satire recounts how one Walker Linchak, a highly decorated but bored author in his late 40s, accidentally helps pioneer and promote a Scientology-like movement that combines science, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and theology. The movement is called Nasalism, for reasons which immediately become obvious, and George W. Bush is one of its fervent adherents. In the book, I mean; I don't know where the president comes down on this issue in real life."

And in Closing: "But what the book really satirizes is American culture and media -- the way trends are conjured out of nothing, thanks to a few blog posts here, a tenure-track academic looking for a hot topic to theorize about there, and of course, newspapers like this one.

"I can't reveal any more, at this time, because the book is embargoed until October. But let me just add my two cents to the excited blurbs contributed by the novelists Jonathan Lethem ("One of the most perverse and single-minded satires I've ever read") and Norman Mailer ("It's wild as sin and revolting as vomit and as exceptional as the lower reaches of insanity itself"). I think that Two Dollar Radio has picked a real winner."

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