Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spotted: The Instructions by Adam Levin

Not to be confused with… Adam Levine: Singer from a band with one big hit that nobody remembers (like Semisonic minus the awesome) and celebrity judge on NBC’s new American Idol ripoff.
3 different covers for the same edition? How cool is that?!
Where: N-train
Who was reading: A man in his 30s with rain-dampened hair and a rather boastful jacket that said: Iron Man 2008 FINISHER—in case you were wondering whether he started the race and then got bored partway through.
Boastful, yes, but informative too! The jacket also listed the exact distances of each leg of this grueling triathlon (Swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles, Run 26.2 miles). As a result, I will never enter an Iron Man competition under the mistaken impression that finishing is humanly possible. Jacket be-damned!
Anyway, this book is an Iron Man Competition in it's own rite, clocking in at 1000 pages! 1000 pages? Heavens to Murgatroyd! 
The Onion's A.V. Club euphemizes its length, saying "The Instructions bears the mark of Infinite Jest in its maximalist style. . . like David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece, Instructions falls into digressions, but with a poignancy that steals over the hyperverbal frenzy without warning." 
Hyperverbal frenzy? Ok, but I think what we're all really wondering is: Does the reader use it to do bicep curls when he’s resting his eyes?
This is precisely how... I used to pass my time when I worked the circulation desk at my local library. Only instead of a hip new novel from McSweeneys, I used an out-dated Portuguese dictionary and emitted guttural Brazilian swears whenever I really felt the burn. Come to think of it, this is the one kind of "book burning" I advocate.


  1. I think I have a new favorite post. A wonderful character sketch, an interesting book, an intriguing tidbit about the Book Spy, and a drizzle of snark—everything I enjoy about this blog! Thank you!

  2. Bookspy where are you ... I'm experiencing withdrawal ?