Craig is armed with a college degree that has so far brought him nothing, certain that something better is just around the corner but unable to encounter it. He's been cohabiting with Ashley since college, and is caught in the dilemma of whether to break up with her or give in to marriage. Meanwhile, Ashley's efforts to earn a graduate degree seem futile considering that her diploma has taken up residence under the sofa cushions. Stuck in dead-end jobs; weary of commercial, corporate, and parental influences; searching for their own identities; Ashley, Craig, and the other characters of our noise find refuge in the brash world of indie rock, thrift stores, coffee houses, zines, and cheap beers. There are Eileen, who ends up in Kitty, Virginia, by accident and forgets to leave, and the members of Bottlecap, Kitty's hometown band, trying to decide whether to sell out and go to the West Coast or continue in the life of a small band. Chipp and Randy start a zine as a way to get their blood flowing for the first time even as Dave, the struggling founder of Violent Revolution Records, works as a waiter to fund his record label.
Funny, realistic, perverse, our noise captures the lives, loves, and record collections of a thrift-store-clothed group of twentysomethings trying to make their way in a real world that is nothing like what they expected.
Gomez's first novel was originally published as a serialized 'zine distributed through mail-order venues and Tower Records. Then it was noticed--and brought to the attention of publishers--by Bret Easton Ellis. Unfortunately, this tale of a young writer's ingenuity is more interesting than the novel itself, which is low on momentum but well-stocked with Generation X stereotypes. Set in Kitty, a small town in Virginia, an ensemble of post-collegiate characters engage in unsatisfying personal relationships, dead-end jobs, labyrinthine discussions of alternative music and the future. Included are laid-back Eileen, who decides to stay in Kitty after her car happens to break down there; the members of a struggling local band called Bottlecap; and slackers Randy and Chipp, roommates who start an alternative music 'zine. The narrative is determinedly straightforward, often detailing every movement a character makes (e.g., every mouse click of logging into the Internet is described).It lacks the insight or humor that might separate the reader's experience of the book from the apparent dullness of these characters' lives. Instead, there are many 1980s teenage cultural reminiscences (the decade when the group would have been in high school), which comprise the novel's most vivid passages.