Sunday, November 1, 2015

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King (book review)

I Crawl Through ItI Crawl Through It by A.S. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish Kurt Vonnegut were alive to read this masterful literary homage. I'm not the only one who sees the connection. Margaret Wappler writes in the October 23, 2015 issue of the New York Times Book Review: "King’s devotion to a passionately experimental style, in a genre often beholden to formula, is inspiring. Kurt Vonnegut might have written a book like this, if he had ever been cyber-bullied on Facebook."

I'm telling you: get your hands on this book. RIGHT NOW. Make yourself some tea, grab your favorite blanket, and get ready for a sensational, surreal ride in which you never leave your comfy chair. First off, King's inventive and playful use of language is brilliant. Metaphorical, but sparse, not flowery, never cloying. She sucks you in. She's the candle at the bottom of the small-mouth bottle. You're the hard-boiled egg atop the small-mouth bottle, getting sucked in. At first you might be thinking, "I'm not a hard-boiled egg. I'm a human being and this is just a book." Let go of that thought. Allow yourself to be a hard-boiled egg for a while. It's the only way you'll get through the it King's asking us to crawl through. Follow along and don't ask too many questions. Pay attention, but don't worry if you don't understand. That's kind of the point.

Not knowing can be scary. It can also be thrilling. The great physicist Richard Feynman says it best:


"I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don't know anything about. Such as, whether it means anything to ask why we're here. And what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit. If I can't figure it out, then I go on to something else. But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things. By being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose. Which is the way it really is as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me."



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