Pages: 320, hardcover
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Release Date: September 2nd, 2010
Genre: literary / contemporary
Gabriel Brockwell, aesthete, poet, philosopher, disaffected twenty-something decadent, is thinking terminal. His philosophical enquiries, the abstractions he indulges, and how these relate to a life lived, all point in the same direction. His destination is Wonderland. The nature and style of the journey is all that's to be decided. Taking in London, Tokyo, Berlin and the Galapagos Islands, Lights Out In Wonderland documents Gabriel Brockwell's remarkable global odyssey. Committed to the pursuit of pleasure and in search of the Bacchanal to obliterate all previous parties, Gabriel's adventure takes in a spell in rehab, a near-death experience with fugu ovaries, a sexual encounter with an octopus, and finally an orgiastic feast in the bowels of Berlin's majestic Tempelhof Airport. Along the way we see a character disintegrate and re-shape before our eyes. Lights Out In Wonderland carries you through its many corridors of delight and horror on the back of Gabriel's voice, which is at once skeptical, idealistic, broken and optimistic. An allegorical banquet and a sly commentary on these End Times and the march towards insensate banality, DBC Pierre's third novel completes a loose trilogy of fictions, each of which stands alone as a joyful expression of the human spirit.
(Taken from Goodreads)
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This book is a DNF for me. I dropped it about 65 pages in, but even when I was a dozen pages in, I had felt the incredible urge to just put it down and never look at it again. So this review is my thoughts on the first 65 pages.
The main character, Gabriel, is, in short, a twat. He was placed in rehab by his father, and comments constantly about capitalism. You know how Chuck Palahniuk can be so deep, dark, and witty about materialism, consumerism, individuality, whatever? Pierre seems to try to imitate that, and does it poorly. For the most part, it's an anti-communist whine-fest. Every page had non-stop bitching about politics. I just thought it was a bit over-the-top. We don't need it shoved in our faces that capitalism is bad, and that capitalism ruins society and such. Subtlety is the key.
The story is basically Gabriel's adventures before he kills himself. But I find his reasons for wanting to kill himself to be a tad bit offensive and absurd. He doesn't really explain any reasons as to why he wants to end his life, except for the fact that we live in a capitalist society. Yep, he wants to kill himself because of capitalism.
The writing was so fantastic, which is a shame. Most of the time, I was drooling at how well Pierre strung his words together. Sadly, the beautiful writing wasn't enough for me to keep on reading.
I do, however, feel that I perhaps wasn't in the right mindset or some such to read this book, and will be trying it again in the future. If my opinions change, then I'll post up a review. We'll see.
10 Second Review: Beautiful writing, only to be tarnished by an anti-capitalist whine-fest. Dropped after 65 pages. Enter at your own risk.
Cover Art: 4
Writing: 3 (loses 2 marks for the political rants)
Level of Interest: 1
Total Rating: 2.5 stars