Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sarang's Latest Effort

Has Sarang finally found the recipe for commercial success that had eluded him for so long?  I don't mean to imply that his previous books didn't sell—he made quite a splash with Yanqui Si!, which is arguably his most political book to date.  But we are still talking about sales in the high 5 digits, whereas his latest effort has already sold more than 5 million copies and flies off the shelf faster than it can be restocked.

Maybe its popularity stems from the recent trend toward nonfiction.  Although Sarang has written nonfiction before, perhaps most notably in Douche Nozzle, his apologia of "bro" culture, this is his first biography.  And what a biography it is:  996 pages chronicling the life of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, not counting an astonishing 23-page bibliography.  Drawing on intellectual and cultural influences as diverse as Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace, Michel Foucault, and Nickelback, Sarang persuasively makes the case that you can't understand Burns's poetry unless you understand the pervasive role that illness played in his life.  "One can scarce imagine the sheer terror that lurked in even the most innocuous ache or pain, in an age when the doctor was as likely to kill or maim you as to cure you," Sarang writes.  This ever-present anxiety illuminates not only the poetry but also the life decisions that Burns made, and may help explain his frenetic search for romantic love.

All in all, I feel I've underestimated the reading public.  The book's merits are subtle and layered, not at all like some of Sarang's more bombastic works, and yet people are buying it in droves.  And I recommend you join them—that is, if you can find a copy of Sarang's Big Book of Sick Burns.  It is selling very fast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the amazon review was a hachette job

10:29 AM  

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