02
Sep
11

CR3 #72: Lights Out in Wonderland by DBC Pierre

(This book was graciously sent to me for free by W.W. Norton & Co. via Goodreads.com. I think they’re going to wish they’d sent it to someone else.)

I hated Catcher in the Rye. I know it’s supposed to be some kind of iconic book about about teenage angst or something, but to me Holden Caulfield was just sort of a whiny twit who created most of his problems himself. Boohooo! My parents don’t understand me and my lack of effort is resulting in poor school performance and OMG SOMETIMES ADULTS LIE ABOUT THINGS! I tell you this because Lights Out in Wonderland is like all the worst things about Catcher in the Rye combined with a book Chuck Palahniuk might write after a serious head injury.

Gabriel Brockwell is twenty-five. He comes from an upper-class British family, and at the beginning of the book, finds himself in rehab. Deeply unsatisfied with his life, he decides that the best solution is to kill himself. However, before he does that, he feels that he should have at least one brilliant party first. From there, he travels around the globe, inadvertently fucking things up for almost everyone he meets. In between, he whines about how his daddy wasn’t nice to him and his job was unfulfilling, and how people liked his friends more than they like him (unsurprising, really.) He has no direction in life! Things have not turned out the way he hoped/expected! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

The writing was not terrible — there were some interesting descriptions along the way. However, it was often repetitive, but not in an interesting, witty, Palahniuk-type way, but in a repetitive way. Not to mention the mind-numbing, self-indulgent, and wholly unnecessary footnotes. YOU ARE NOT DAVID FOSTER WALLACE.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who might enjoy this book. I am just not one of them.

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