“Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass—from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious.”
– Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You
“Tao Lin is the most distinctive young writer I've come upon in a long time: the most intrepid, the funniest, the strangest. He is completely unlike anyone else.”
– Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening
Confused yet intelligent animals attempt to interact with confused yet intelligent humans, resulting in the death of Elijah Wood, Salman Rushdie, and Wong Kar-Wai; the destruction of a Domino's Pizza delivery car in Orlando; and a vegan dinner at a sushi restaurant in Manhattan attended by a dolphin, a bear, a moose, an alien, three humans, and the President of the United States of America, who lectures on the arbitrary nature of consciousness, truth, and the universe before getting drunk and playing poker.
“Tao Lin’s fiction will kick your ass and say thank you afterwards!”
– Amy Fusselman, author of The Pharmacist’s Mate
Poet and blogger Lin's debut novel uneasily documents the life of Andrew, a recent college graduate working at Domino's Pizza while over-analyzing every aspect of his life: past, present and futureless. He drives through the suburbs reminiscing about college life in New York and his ex-girlfriend, stopping occasionally to express his boredom to his best friend Steve. When at one point, Andrew states that he wants to "wreak complex and profound havoc" upon capitalist establishments such as McDonald's, it feels like Lin is attempting the same kind of attack on organized art. The novel, while short on plot, makes abrupt shifts in setting and point of view, and is pierced throughout by celebrity cameos and surreal touches: bears, dolphins (who say "Eeeee Eee Eeee" to express emotion, in spite of their ability to speak like humans), Salman Rushdie, and the president make grandiose declarations that are heavily saturated with the same sardonic wit displayed by Andrew and his friends. The novel dips dangerously into metafiction, with Andrew in the middle of "writing a book of stories about people who are doomed." The characters' repetitive thoughts and conversations become strangely hypnotic, however, and Lin's sympathetic fascination with the meaning of life is full of profound and often hilarious insights.