In his debut essay collection, Nicholas Belardes uses today's pop culture and self-deprecating humor as a filter for discussing personal stories of family, writing, gender, art, and race. He dives into the Harry Potter play and discusses his cursed childhood home. He tells coming-of-age tales of Dungeons & Dragons and blames Stranger Things for jogging those hilarious memories. In great detail he describes how working for a cheesy Las Vegas animation company meant everything to a relationship with his dad. And he presents an unpopular artistic argument for how Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones may have ruined his life as a writer (not really). He gives you Star Wars and its weird connections to the Catcher in the Rye (as well as artistic expectations in education). In an essay about race he presents virtual universes, cowboy images of his racist dad, and odd choices of identity in Ready Player One. He even provides a layman's guide for how to introduce someone to Star Trek while at the same time telling us that what we mimic might not be good for us. He also discusses miscommunication in the world in relation to writing the first original Twitter novel, Small Places. And finally, he describes how American numbness negatively affects the world of art. Belardes presents a side of our humanity working in tandem with pop culture. It isn't always pretty, though it is hopeful, sometimes funny, and full of promise.
"David Foster Wallace meets Hunter S. Thompson in this ode to the triumphs and defeats of pop culture. Belardes might be the most informed, intelligent and hilariously iconoclastic guide we'll ever have to help us bridge the digital divide. Who else dares talk about Dostoevsky in the same breath as Winona Ryder? In Belardes's nimble mental meanderings, we find Rilke alongside Sam the Mattress Man, Knossos alongside Las Vegas. Even as he is telling us everything we always wanted to know about Holden Caulfield and Luke Skywalker but were afraid to ask, Belardes's underlying message becomes increasingly clear: art has been dumbed down, artifice is everywhere, and we no longer know what "real" is. "We. Can't. Feel." Belardes says, but he's no misanthrope, and in these essays, we find ourselves in the astute and tender company of someone who loves the world." --Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men
Number Of Pages: 170
Published: 5th September 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.0
Weight (kg): 0.18