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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Watch Your Mouth

Book #43 on my reading list this year was Daniel Handler's Watch Your Mouth.

Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, delivers a decidely NSFC (not safe for children) work here in what has been dubbed a 'incest-comedy gothic Jewish porn opera novel' by the Village Voice. The first half of the novel is presented as an opera with the second half written as a twelve step program. Oh and there's a golem involved too.

Sound ambitious? Indeed it is. Handler's immense skill (and stellar wordplay) as a writer is on display here, but even Handler can't keep this thing under wraps. Eventually the story collapses, sputtering to a so-so ending. I haven't read Adverbs or The Basic Eight yet, but I'd recommend starting with one of those (or maybe a Lemony Snicket book) first.

Read an excerpt here.
Handler and Stephin Merritt (aka The Gothic Archies) perform at 826 benefit.