Books I read in Visa Jail 3
I bet you like to snuggle up in bed with a good book once in a while don’t you? Yeah you do. So do I. We all do.
The problem with this though, is that reading sucks. It just does and you know it. Be honest with yourself; when do you read? I can tell you when: Anytime you cannot realistically have a monitor strobing flashy images in your face along with coordinated noises.
Let’s face it; as soon as the Television was invented books were on their way out. The coming of the Personal Computer and then the internet ramped that time-line way up and within a few years, actually holding a book and reading it will be like baking your own bread at home or hand-rolling your cigarettes or knitting. Something totally superfluous, yet a nice, pretentious hobby for wanna-be elitists everywhere.
If you aren’t a student, and I am not (I’m a student of the GAME- sure. But I’m talking about pencil pouches and trapper-keepers here), then it’s likely you have only four times available to you in which you may realistically read each day.
First, on the train during a commute. I read quite a lot while traveling the absurd distances necessary for me to make ends meet. Having a book passes the time and I get to keep my “Pretentious White Man” club card.
Second, I read on the toilet. I have to be honest though, I don’t log as much time on the shitter as other fellas because I’m blessed with ever-present explosive bowels. My body takes its shits seriously, and anytime I head to the latrine it’s like the SAS hitting the Iranian embassy in 1980; FAST, HARD, EXPLOSIVE and INTENSE. Due to this condition I only get about five minutes at the most on the throne at any given sitting.
Third, one could make the case for reading before sleeping, but I never do that. I have another activity I prefer to engage in before nodding off, and I’m not going to discuss it any further because there is a chance my mother will read this article.
Fourth, I read when I’m incarcerated. In fact during these periods I am a reading maniac to the point that I have been referred to as “That Book Gaijin”. Really. Nobody reads like me while in the slammer. Not much of a commitment really. It’s read or think of innovative ways to kill yourself, so I read.
Although it seems most people who read this, including the majority of critics, found the book to be about the struggle of being an immigrant in America or the complex issues behind growing up with two very different paradigms to adhere to, I thought this book was very simply a well written story about everyday life and the ultimate message regarding it; shit happens.
The Namesake begins in India and with the parents, the young newly wed couple as they move to America but very quickly, the primary focus of the entire book is on the character Gogol Ganguli. He is the first-born son of these immigrants and he is American.
I am certain that there are unique experiences that only a first generation ethnic American can claim to understand. I however, found few of these in this book. It seemed to me that the problems and solutions that Gogol is presented with and deals with are terribly universal to almost anyone growing up in a multi-cultural society with parents that have insisted on a path not as well trodden as others. This would likely be a surprisingly high amount of American families, and it surely includes every military family in the country, of which my family may be counted.
Even his name “Gogol Ganguli” is neither Indian nor Russian nor American but some sort of accidental hybrid. And although spawned from good intentions, like so many things, it becomes a point of embarrassment and confusion for this man all through his life.
I will not give a detailed plot summary for The Namesake simply because I think I could do little justice to the book. What I will do is compare it, in some ways, to the all too infamous Harry Chapin classic “Cat’s in the cradle”. A song that absolutely haunts me on levels I’d rather not think about. And yes, this book seems to embody it. If not for content then surely for tone. There is a terrible reality to The Namesake that Jhumpa Lahiri expertly maintains, to the shame of so many other would be “real” authors.
The last thing I will say about this impressive novel, is that this is what Brett Easton Ellis should be writing. No gimmicks. No tricks. Simply the hardest thing to skillfully put on paper; honest real life.
If you’ve been reading GaijinAss for a while, then you have likely seen one or two of the other articles we posted about my literature while in immigration jail. Then you should know that there is always a Ying for every Yang. There has to be balance, so the dark side has to get its time in the lime light too. By dark side, I mean horrible authors and their insulting “novels”.
Hour Game by David Baldacci is not simply on the dark side. It’s the steaming pile of voluminous excrement that the dark side left in a filthy public toilet after an Indian curry “all-you-can-eat” challenge, a bottle of dangerously cheap vodka and a bad decision that involved the words “free” and “base”.
When Baldacci finally published Hour Game, Satan laughed uproariously and smiled, now knowing exactly how to doom this mans black soul to hell.
The plot is too ludicrous to explain in detail, but I can tell you with confidence that like Tess Gerritson, Baldacci is clearly a card-carrying member of the A.T.H.T.A.- “Authors that hate their Audience”.
His loathing for you and his total disrespect for your intellect is thick and juicy.
Let me throw out some buzz words…
- Famous Serial Killers!
- Copy Cat Murderer!
- Disgraced former Secret Service agents!
- Private detectives!
- Rich Dysfunctional Southern Family!
- A Red Neck!
- Speed boats!
- Civil War Reenactments!
Just mix and match and move these around until you come up with something that feels suitably ridiculous and voila, Hour Game.
Sure, Baldacci is laughing it up somewhere, probably with sex slaves from Nicaragua serving him martinis and lighting his cigars while his Nubian man-servant takes memo as David drunkenly outlines his next piece of shit book, but I get some measure of satisfaction knowing he’s going to pay dearly for his crimes against humanity and literature in the burning afterlife.
|Elderly set to crush japan||My First Blood (type) Bath!!!||Interview with Adult Model: Erika Satou||Sports teams: That Time has deemed offensive||White Woman : Japan Sex|
You can pretty much tell by the title that the second one is going to suck. That and also the fact that there is a pattern so far of one good one and one bad one. I wonder if anyone at the publishing company actually read and enjoyed it, or if their business is like a literary pyramid scheme.
I have always felt embarrassed to bring a book to the toilet, especially at work when I want to kill the most amount of time on the loo; however the smartphone is great for reading the newspaper and conveniently fits into the pocket, I like to leave extra drying time at work for the washlet, may as well I figure. I don’t understand the need for such a long period of time; but I guess that’s how it works if you eat steak and cheese for brekky, lunch and dinner.
“Smart phones”, The next level….I am drunk as I type this. carefully.
I have to agree with Mo, it just feels wrong taking a piece of literature with you to the toilet. Althought I have had some times that took awhile; because I could tell beforehand I did manage to grab a book before diasappearing. Still on average I go in there alone, without book, and at most play with a lighter if things are taking awhile. I don’t smoke more than maybe once every three months; I carry the lighter because I like fire (and was a boyscout, so you know be prepared for anything and all).
Sounds to me like you might have irritable bowel syndrome. Thank God I don’t have that. I have a friend that does and he has the bad luck of having to use a cane too. He gets by alright though.
That curry and free + base bit was golden. I almost laughed there. Good stuff. Another fine article sir.
Cheap vodka, never again. My sister may not be much of a drinker, but she can down cheap vodka by the gallon when challenged. I had cheap vodka in a bloody mary once and about committed murder. I believe the brand (the same that my sister used to drink) was Hawkeye. My favorite Vodka was Inferno, it was a Canook Vodka that had a pepper in the bottle. Always made chilli with the pepper. Haven’t been able to find that for a few years so been drinkin Vox, average Vodka strength, goes down like water and with about the same taste.
“Harry Chapin classic “Cat’s in the cradle”. A song that absolutely haunts me on levels I’d rather not think about. ”
Interesting. I avoid that and a couple songs because they conjure of very bad memories of me and what I’ve done. Nothing like an ole diddy to remind you of one of your darkest moments….
“but I get some measure of satisfaction knowing he’s going to pay dearly for his crimes against humanity and literature in the burning afterlife.”
I pray there is a Hell. I almost believe I might not go but it may be too soon to say but I know a lot who definitely need to burn…for oh..about….eternity.
What can we do really? Cross our fingers? Hey…WE’ll get together then…right?
I shouldn’t have put this song on here. I lose.
A song that is so hauntingly sad I have to turn off the radio, or run out of a store if it is on, is well a cover of an old song. ‘Last Kiss’, on its own is a very depressing song. Eddie Vedder (or however you spell it), the lead singer of “Pearl Jam ” had a beautiful voice at one time, then for a few albums it was all hoarse and scratchy, then magically came back. Well when he covered this song his voice was at its best.
The original I can sit through; but that Damned cover is just EVIL! Not really connected to this song in any way. No bad memories conjured up. My God it is so depressing though. It should be in a horror movie where everyone that listens to it commits suicide.
I love your writing by the way. Not that it makes me feel like a serious under-achiever or anything in terms of what I’m not writing about.
“God? When it comes to closing my eyes and taking that step, I have no faith. If I can’t grow it, shoot it, sell it, or screw it…it doesn’t mean anything to me…” or something like that. That’s part of what’s in a long story of ‘honest real life’ kind of stuff and kind of why I hate that song, especially now.
Hey brother: not a joke. Heavy song and all that for me, Good post.
This was my favorite part of this entry Eric. “I get to keep my “Pretentious White Man” club card.” Speed boats are only cool if you are James Bond.
No JP, Speed boats are always cool….