I actually finished this the weekend I got it, because I got so excited that I had a numbered copy and its kind of like getting an autographed book, but I finished, then kept reading what people said about it on the blog (omg its such a weird feeling. like a bookclub but one-way. like stalking a bookclub) and then read it a second time. This is all a weird thing for me to do, but alas, this is a pretty weird book.
I mean, I have a numbered copy for crying out loud (356/651), which means that I was a backer, and my little donation financed this book. I made it happen. Well, loads of people made it happen. I feel close to the book and the editors and the contributors and the writers in a way that I feel close to reality TV stars, because I watched this book come into being, and in the few months that I started my last quarter at business school, got a part-time job, got another job at the god awful mall, thankfully quit that mall job, got a MBA, still only have a part-time job with no full-time opportunity in sight, this book got some contributors, got edited, got printed, and arrived at my doorstep. An internet idea became a REAL book in like six months. WTF. How is this not weird and totally amazing.
The book is also weird because it is so honest even though it’s the INTERNET. The internet, to me, is a place that a lot of people come to so that they can remain anonymous but say shit and have their words go out there without being held accountable. Well, at least that’s why I probably have a blog, with a reading population of one, because of this passive-aggressive, bi-polar desire to want to say something without people knowing and yet publish it on the world-wide web. But so many people now have these words attached to a full name and a picture, just a google search away from people finding out, and yet they’re just as raw about it as I get when I bitch about my daddy issues and my all around fuckedupness. It kind of makes you think, just maybe, we can potentially be more honest if the internet can spill hearts and make you cry.
It’s hard to pinpoint what to say about the book, because the IDEA of the book is in it of itself pretty rad, but the STORIES are just as, if not more. I’ve been calling it “the sex book,” because this is really the only book I’ve ever read that said “pussy” so many times. And I hate that word. It really freaks me out, I guess, in the same way that these stories freak me out. They’re so raw. I think that’s the right adjective. It’s that feeling you get when you’re watching a movie, and you see how a character just made an awful ass of himself in front of people in that all-too-familiar, unfortunate way, and you can’t help but cower a bit, wanting to look away, and you feel your stomach knot up. But the stories in this book are a lot more brave than I am, and they don’t look away from that awkward, messy, disgusting, unlucky, etc. etc. part of life, and instead capture that knot in the stomach into lines that you’re not gonna be able to look away from or forget, like when she tucks her underwear in her leggings, or when she feels naked in the shower for wanting something and asking for it and then feeling like he was embarrassed for her, or when she relives the pain and then writes it and deletes it and thinks about it and feels separated by it and then retells it just to be a part of it.
And then the messy/awful/tragic moment passes, and you were vulnerable, but you survived, and its that heartbreaking honesty that makes you want to cry and laugh and and hope.
(reblogged from the room where I sat and numbered all 651 of the backer books, where there’s absolutely nothing else I could add.)