...Is my favourite smell in the world. Ever. Not that I claim to have smelt everything, of course, that would be silly. But of all the fragrances to have ever graced my over sized nose, brand new books ranks number one. Closely followed by napalm (but only in the mornings).
I just finished reading this amazing book called Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing by
Abram Shalom Himelstein and
Jamie Schweser. It is about this Jewish kid from Tennessee that moves to DC in the early 90s and gets involved in the punk scene there. It deals with everything from issues of identity, love and loss to society and politics. It really made me wish that I lived in DC in the early 90s. Although in the early 90s I was like three years old, so I would have missed the whole scene anyway. Damnit.
The novel is told through a series of letters, diary entries and zine articles, in a way that reminded me of Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Another amazing novel, also set in the early 90s). It also reminded me of Jamie S. Rich's illustrated novel Cut My Hair, more for content rather than form. Cut My Hair is another punk rock novel set in the early 90s, which is also a great read. What's up with so many of my favourite novels being set in the early 90s?!?
For my birthday a couple of weeks ago I was given a bunch of Amazon vouchers. A useful gift. I now feel bad for purchasing this DIY punk rock novel from big-bad-small-business-crushing-Amazon. It really goes against everything that the book stands for. The two dudes who wrote the novel self-published it and then distributed it themselves until it blew up and everybody wanted a piece. I feel dirty for even admitting that I bought it from Amazon.
My one gripe with Tales is that it should have been longer. It is a very quick read, and the ending is slightly unsatisfying. It just kind of... ends. Usually I'm all for an ambiguous ending, but this just felt like it needed a little more tying of lose ends.
All in all though, a thoroughly enjoyable read, and one I'd happily read again. So go out and buy it, right now. And if you've never read them, get The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Cut My Hair, too. Just don't buy them from Amazon.