The Zoo Where You’re Fed to God by Michael Ventura
My rating: 5/5 cats
i was just reading my delight of a book, readers’ advisory service in the public library, and the chapter i was reading was the one on “appeal.” basically, appeal is how you describe a book to a patron based on its salient elements: pacing, characterization, story line, frame/tone, and style. the idea is that by using these descriptive elements, we can recommend any book to any person, whether we have read the book or not, whether we know anything about the genre, based on the appeal of these elements to the reader and always always always making sure to avoid “judgment words;” focusing simply on articulating the bits and pieces for the best and most appropriate readers of the books.
i’m not going to do that. not here, not with you. i was going to, for practice – going to go through all the marvelous things this novel has to offer a reader, but instead i’m going to do something librarians aren’t supposed to do. i am going to impose my taste on you. that’s right, bitches. and i am going to ask you to trust me. i know we don’t really know one another, but let me give you my résumé of trustworthiness: the other day, a child dropped her stuffed giraffe and her parents didn’t notice. even though i had just been saying – “i want that giraffe, yo,” i picked it up and gave it to the mommy. SEE HOW TRUSTWORTHY I AM?? one time i found a wallet on the subway. it was the wallet of some japanese tourist, and there was all this american money inside, and after trying to call the number on the credit card (which was all crazy-japanese-language, and the american division was no help – same with the bank), i ended up going allll the way to the japanese embassy to drop it off. SEE HOW I CAN BE TRUSTED WITH MY GOOD NATURE?? i am very good at keeping secrets (even the really juicy one i heard about you. YES, YOU). i will not read your diary, and i will not steal your boyfriend/girlfriend…
but mostly, i can be trusted in my book sense. i’m not going to push my byron fictionalizations on you – i know that these are just personal fetishes, and they are crappy crappy sensationalist novels. same with my teen-survival and aftermath books. even though i sometimes like some crap, i know when something is good. and this is good:
He became a surgeon because he was afraid of knives. He got married because he was afraid of women. He had a child because he was afraid of responsibility. Now, his marriage over and his child no longer speaking to him, he turned off all the lights in the house because he was afraid of the dark.
look, i’m just some chick with a mouth like a sailor who was recommended this book years ago and i took a chance and it turned out to be one of the best books i ever did read. i paid $2.38 for it on abe.com.
surely you can trust me that much, right?