Swimming Inside the SunSwimming Inside the Sun by David Zweig
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

i will never get used to the idea that not every book is written with me in mind. when can we fix this? i want to love every book unreservedly, because i want every author to take my likes and dislikes into consideration. it’s not hard, just do what i want! there is nothing wrong with this book, it just happens to push too many of my bad-buttons. i should have known when it opened with an elliott smith quote. but i didn’t give up—it’s not elliott smith’s fault that he’s not leonard cohen—he tries so hard to be! but people like him. just not me. so i still read on. but this is not my narrator. this is a narrator i need to smack a little. i don’t mind an anti-hero, but i like an anti-hero like heathcliff who takes charge and hangs puppies and is completely unlikeable but at least proactive; at least he has balls. i am not an admirer of this passive, neurotic narrator who spends all his time concerned about how he is being perceived, to the extent that there are numerous footnotes anticipating reader-resistance or possible misinterpretation of certain terms used or ideas proffered, which footnotes seek to argue the perception that the reader might be having. so a-plus for character-consistency, this needy/needless philosophizing is just a trait that makes me cranky. i am no fan of the pseudo-intellectual, self-involved slacker/artist suffering from post-modern alienation and malaise. i am incapable of abstract thought; i exempt myself from the zeitgeist, and i loathe that word like crazy. but i am about as introspective as a raccoon—i like shiny things and food and shelter, and that’s about all i think about. i don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about how people are seeing me, beyond making sure my boobs are (usually) not spilling out or i don’t have lots of food stuck to my face. and i don’t have patience for that which is unlike me. i believe in industry and activity and if life gets hard, just power through. i can’t waste time thinking about it and navel-gazing and being sad and gloomy; adapt motherfucker! i like the idea of the destroyed artist stuck in failure, but do try to get out of it. dwelling doesn’t get you anywhere. i liked it more than perks of being a wallflower or that mark haddon book. they aren’t necessarily similar, but those are also books that other people are all about, but i am too flawed to appreciate. i remain karen: friend to the small publisher, and there are many of you who would dig this book; i just didn’t like the narrator (like i didn’t like the narrator in dostoevsky’s adolescent—stop your damn thinking!) and since this is all in his head, i could not escape! now all of you go out and write a book just for me. and like this one more than me!

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