Book Review: The Garbage Times by Sam Pink

20 May

sam pink book

When I think of “alt lit” I think of date rape. Tao Lin accused of skin beefs and emotional abuse by his sixteen year old lover who transitioned into a man. I think of the careful looking-up-”important”-in-the-thesaurus apology he’d have to make if it came out now instead of 2014. It’s important that we continue this urgent conversation and absolutely crucial that we believe… and you’d normally say “believe women” except now you’re misgendering. But you don’t want people to skim and think you’re Jerry Sandusky taking sixteen year old boys in the ass, either. What a nightmare. Rape is so, so important, and these accusations always true except now, and I fucked her before she was a man but trust me I believe it’s wrong to point that out…

In fact he said something like: fuck off, I’ll sue you. You want the book money, take it psycho. Admirable. His prose worshipped by extremely fancy people. I bought Taipei. It is one one millionth as interesting as picturing Tao Lin’s gristly three inch pipe vomiting hot thick gouts of smelly ooze inside a psychotic underage ginger teen on her mom’s bed, somewhere in rural Pennsylvania.

Alt lit is people who got interviewed in 2014 Vice for their books. I only knew of Lin and the other miscreant, Stephen Tully Dierks, who excommunicated himself from the planet for trying to fuck a shocked and appalled nineteen year old. She slept in his bed but thought it was to talk about her career. I’ve only read a few sentences of his. They’re exactly what you picture when you think about calling yourself “Stephen Tully Dierks.”

Sam Pink’s alt lit book The Garbage Times is not like this. It’s transcendently good. He’s a thousand times better than me and I’m jealous of him. I don’t know why I’m typing this horseshit instead of reading more of The Garbage Times, which I’m 100 pages into. It comes with another book called White Ibis. So the physical package has two front covers and half of it is upside down with respect to the other. I could have done without this but it’s manageable. People say so and so is “like Bukowski” but this guy actually is. It’s like the tone of Factotum, and the line break per sentence style Pink invented brings to mind the poems. He works shit jobs and drinks in Chicago but it’s not about this. It’s about a miasma of gray life with moments of color poking through and left for interpretation. I’m ashamed of my own work, compared to this guy who is younger than me and probably better looking, and gets more pussy too. I picture Sam Pink on a stack of gold bars fucking Angela and smiling.

I’d been turned off by the idea of reading Sam Pink. Because he was worshipped by 2014 Vice, and by the guy who ran Fluland. Baggage about my own inferiority. Now I have the feeling of discovering a new author with a whole back catalog of books. One of the best feelings. This is what you want to give people, when you type words and edit them instead of reading Twitter again or playing Far Cry 5.

Reading work that took him two years takes me forty five minutes and will improve three adjectives in my next shit. But it’s something. He makes you want to write without paragraphs but you’d be flagrantly pinching his bitch.

You will enjoy The Garbage Times and White Ibis by Sam Pink, available now on Amazon. You get two books for fifteen dollars. I don’t get money from you buying it and no one asked me to do this.

In conclusion: four stars.

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Garbage Times by Sam Pink”

  1. J.A.F.O. May 21, 2018 at 2:08 am #

    I convinced myself awhile back to read Taipei.
    Thought I was missing out on something Exciting & Contemporary.
    Best part of it tbh is the sparkly cover. That’s it.

    But if you wanna read someone “new” & good: Porochista Khakpour

  2. Anonymous May 21, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    You’re funnier than Sam Pink.

  3. Anonymous May 22, 2018 at 12:23 am #

    I’m waiting for a delicioustacos anthology. The complete collected works. This entire blog stuffed into a five volume set. Leather bound if necessary. But paperback would do. Books are immortality for mortals.

    • Sleeping In Carthage June 2, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

      Seconded. Except why not a super-deluxe box set edition featuring first 500 copies bound with the excess skin from the ol’ beanbag? Atlanta Man can perform the scrotal tuck.

      Plus do a super-ultra exclusive print run of 93 copies ala Crowley’s “White Stains” (which was rumored to contain some of the author’s… special sauce). Throw in a DVD/CD of the Juan Mendez Youtube stuff & the podcast recordings and call it “Life Under the Circus Tent: The Delicious Tacos Story.” Cash in, because why the fuck not.

      Publish, then you can peacefully shed the DT persona, satisfying the fanbase & freeing yourself from yourself.

  4. Anonymous July 3, 2018 at 10:14 pm #

    I have been reading your goodamned shit for fucking years now. I bought sam pinks books and think your writing is much better (though sam is good). Stop being so melodramatic. I quit drinking because of this fucking blog but im falling of the wagon (as I type excuse the spelling/grammer pls). Anyways I have read ever post at least once. It sucks you got doxxed and got a good job and developed a fuck to give about peope you have written about getting hurt from your writings because I still like to rummage through your old stuff once in a while. 😦

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