No One Is Talking about This

Review :

god. i can't think of anything to say about this book that doesn't feel hopelessly inadequate! but also i feel like i can't not say ~something about it because of how deeply it affected me, so -

the first half of no one is talking about this is about being massively internet poisoned and it's agonisingly funny and harrowing and absurd all at the same time, and just like priestdaddy ('flowers registered to him as very small bitches, far off in the distance') it contains a frankly ridiculous number of lines that are just going to live in my brain forever ('elective taint-lengthening surgery'). i said on twitter earlier today that patricia lockwood has this unparalleled ability to make me laugh hysterically one second and stare dead-eyed into the middle distance the next, and she spends so much of the build-up here doing exactly that, offering the singular kind of emotional whiplash which in itself also feels exactly like the experience of being on twitter 24/7 while the world burns around you. the novel's form heightens that feeling too - it's separated into fragments, each one not much longer than a tweet, which feels just as deliberate as the sideways references to memes lockwood assumes you're already familiar with - but the story it crafts around you is so much More than that, which becomes obvious once you reach the second half and see the little filaments of narrative interconnectivity which take the novel's two distinct halves and elevate them into something beautiful and tender and honestly fucking devastating. this is definitely a weird book in terms of both form and narrative structure but lockwood's strange and ephemeral abstractions are incredible because they have a tendency to somehow feel more true than the direct words we already use to describe the things she is only ever indirect about ('portal' for 'internet' is the easiest and most obvious example here although it's by no means the only, or even the most cogent). the second part made me cry more than i can remember any other book doing ever and i loved it entirely and i don't think i can say anything about it that would in any way do it justice except to recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who might see this review, so, if you're reading this, yes it literally Is That Good thank you!!!

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