Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Another bit of popular culture I consumed in the past week, after having read You Shall Know Our Velocity: Twelve by Nick McDowell. A story about rich kids in New York and their drug dealer. Many little stories intertwined, yet easy to read – possibly due to the short, sometimes extremely short, sections.

Twelve book cover I don't think the writing is nearly as good as Dave Egger's, though, despite both books being sold as some kind of popular culture and the intimidating number of overwhelming reviews printed on the cover. The story is OK, it's a nice summer read and that's about it. We have the posh-school namedropping of F. Scott Fitzgerald here – but not the consistency and niceness of his stories. [Don't those schools and universities hate writers? They suggest that all it takes to go and graduate there is rich parents.] We have the posh brand-name-dropping and gratuitous violence of Bret Easton Ellis there – but not in the extreme way that actually makes you think about it. And we have the frequent cuts between the different story lines which of course are just a single big stories. A bit like the music video version of a book, with frequent cuts and short attention spans.

This probably makes the book truly 'pop-culture'. At least it still tells a mildly captivating story, contrary to what is known as 'pop-culture' in Germany and is rightly dismissed in its complacent wankerishness here.

Readable, but overrated.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

August 5, 2003, 23:52

Tagged as book, new york, nick mcdowell.


Comment by lynn: User icon

my favoritce book. it’s very life-like and true and captures the reality of teens and their thoughs and actions.

March 30, 2005, 23:13

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