Manifesto book: The Anonymous Novel

Manifesto book: The Anonymous Novel

by Peter Linck

“I hated school. I hated work. I hated boredom. I had no interests. I had a happy childhood. There was school, growing up, questions about the future. I was 21. I had no dream.” begins the book with no title, no author, no description of the contents, and no blurbs. Comparisons to "Evasion" are inevitable as is the general hobo lifestyle, situationism, and approach here. Written by an alienated twentysomething who is perceptive, honest, true to himself, self-conscious and consistent enough to constitute what amounts to a literary style. “Drunken episodes continued, music played on; there was hysterical laughter, stupid games, crashing shins on coffee tables, spilling beer on ashy couches, collapsing at bar entrances, staring out at car windows driven by drunks and fools. I gazed with half-shut eyes at a slowly rising sun—on to the next town, the next fix. Ruination unending." “I stumbled through streets in the night, away from the intoxicated noise. Buildings swayed in the dark. I fell against a lamppost and tried to breathe.” There's plenty of montage here and it's not all depressing either. “We rode slow in the sun and looked at the great houses with nobody around—three- and four-car garages, wide smooth driveways, country-style mailboxes, shrubs and trees in beds of wood-chips, expensive basketball hoops with no kids around—everything quiet in the country with the sun and the breeze blowing over the wide strips of asphalt. Large houses sat on hills like statues hacked out of boulders and preserved by gods. We giggled like little kids. Sybil rode the bike like a grasshopper on a horse. She pedaled hard up the hills, making the big wheels turn. I wanted to explode with happiness . . .” The unnamed narrator goes to college, drops out, hangs outs and reads, moves on, gets loaded at parties, despairs over women, hitchhikes, sleeps under bridges, walks along trashy roadsides and explores duplicated suburban towns, runs out of money, spends a few days at home, despairs over his parents’ sincere efforts to get him to get ahold of himself, goes to Europe, finds life there just as dead-end as here, returns, increases his chemical intake, and finds himself snared deeper and deeper by a whirlpool of drug dependency and hopelessness. By the end he can’t believe how hopeless and low he’s gotten, how much he drinks, how the kids he went to college with have grabbed hold of some kind of life while he’s still wallowing in nothingness. He renders up his self-horror with such energy and aesthetic care that it makes up for his rubbing our faces in the deep American muck.

 

Comments

avatar RaymondSequenza 4/13/2011

This is the most beautiful book I've ever read. It changed my life.

Frankie 2/16/2009

Having a total jerk for a protagonist isn't an excuse to write a book like this - Lolita and American Psycho work just fine and are fun to read, just to come up with a couple of obvious examples.

I can only think of one way this book works, and that's as a parody. This guy thinks he's the ultimate individual snowflake, seeing through all the BS everyone else is too thick to understand, and how does he express this? By hating on fatties, exaggerating his girl problems and whining about his teachers. Sounds like nearly every 13-yr-old bully I've met. Nice parody.

Hayden 1/25/2009

I beleive this book is simply the authors only way of explaining himself for who he is. He records his brain activity along with his actions so we can in a way, become him by reading the book. It isnt exactly meant to be read like a story. He doesnt feel understood. He states it throughout the whole book. I think this book is his method of connecting to people. If you find this book boring, it is probably because this book isnt meant for entertainment.

Victoria 1/2/2009

To those that think the book is boring, try again.

You aren't supposed to sympathize with him,
that would ruin the complete point the author is trying to get across.

He honestly doesn't care or notice empathy towards him,
so why would his book portray that.

Get past what he's "doing" in the book and look at the actual WRITING of the book.

The line breaks in the books don't signify a different idea,
they CONTINUE th ideas he previously states.
And if you find the connection there..

To put it simply, he's a genius.

meri 11/28/2008

I agree with le_quash. The author comes across like a spoiled brat, which is not a very likable trait. On the flip side, maybe he was trying to openly explore some of his less appealing personality flaws so he chose to remain anonymous? The book is honetsly pretty boring.

le_quash 11/3/2008

This book was ridiculous. I barely got 20 pages in before being bored to tears with it, putting it down, and feeling absolutely apathetic for the author. I tried to understand what he was going through but if he wasn't getting anything out of that lifestyle, why didn't he take his life into his own hands and at least do something he perceived as positive or productive? IMHO this was worse than evasion (which i enjoyed) because all the kid in Manifesto does is feel sorry for himself.

Tim 12/31/2007

A great read, the author is very honest on his journey to find his dream