Sunday, January 1 1995
. . . by young writer Christopher Rice (progeny of gothic writer Anne Rice and poet and painter Stan Rice), is a mystery and gay-coming-of-age story that is powered, in part, by the current of hate pulsing through America.
[Motley Crue's The Dirt] and its candid tales of porn stars, overdoses, and glam-metal makes the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll memories of other bands seem almost as sweet and innocent as that book by Britney Spears and her mother.
Each story confronts us with a certain oddity or malformation, which is treated in such a childlike, open-eyed way that the narration renders these subjects almost absurdly normal.
It's flash history created by the instant-gratification culture of Internet analysis and sound-bite news. One fears that, to the general public, source is irrelevant, content is king. But there exists a subversive group of individuals who want to know how information was attained, the validity of the source, the bias of the reporter.
This isn't going to be the book you'll hand to someone who's never read King before, but it may be one for the die-hard King fans, if only to see him make up for the alien-ridden debacle of 'Tommyknockers'.
Alternately disturbing, depressing, bleak, and painful, these stories are bound together by an acute observation of the shadows of the human soul, which makes them so powerful and compelling.
Expands upon this fusion of high and low culture, using mass-media tropes to elaborate on endlessly dense themes. The novel is most easily summarized as an 'alternative history,' a what-if scenario.
Throughout his work one point is central: the greatest contrast and point of confusion between the Japanese and Westerners lies in their respective concepts of the surface of things. While Westerners are wary to a fault, distrusting surfaces and ever obsessed with the true meaning behind them, the Japanese exist in an eternal 'now' that renders all of their expressions true.
In the 1990s, this community of McCarthy fans extended its territory into the world of the American academy with the establishment of something called, in this volume, 'McCarthy studies', practised by a weird enclave of literary critics and pop cultural historians who, judging by the essays here, are immersed in the intricacies of their intellectual obsession.