I think I've only seen this book posted in corn threads, which is how I think I found out about it, but has anyone read this? I finished it a few days ago.
My initial impression was that the novel would be a refreshing contrast to the older works I usually read, with all its modern references (including 4chan, desu) and simple prose. I did find it quite refreshing indeed, but also at times found it to be just a bit boring, or at least found myself wondering what the point was of reading a book chronicling some guys drug-filled life as he traveled around the United States and Taiwan.
Taipei reminded me a great deal of On the Road by Kerouac and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Thompson. In all three books I had the similar reaction of being somewhat entertained but wondering what the purpose of such a book was. When I reached the end of Taipei, I found that unlike Fear and Loathing, there was no overt message about modern society or the drug culture or the way we live.
Taipei for me was powerful kind of in the same way the end of Infinite Jest was. At the end of IJ I had a sort of 'holy shit' feeling, and I felt similar, but not quite as strong after finishing Taipei. I thought the way Tao Lin chronicled Paul's spiritual and mental "bottom" of his drug addiction was beautiful and allowed the reader to really feel the lack of feeling and malaise that comes with addiction.
Anyways, has anyone else read Taipei, or any of Tao Lin's other work? What did you think?
Yeah I read it somewhat recently because of this board. I liked it immensely, Tao Lin can definitely write. Sometimes it was a little close for comfort, like I was reading my own thoughts.
I don't think addiction is really the main theme of the novel though. Certainly its a major part of the novel, but I think Paul's relationships are the main attraction. As someone who just came out of a LTR, he was dead on in capturing how a relationship expands and then becomes stifling, and how it all happens under the microscope of social media. He did a really good job showing how people are aware of their own growing relationship, how they believe there is a set path for it to go along, and then how in the end their vision of how it should of gone doesn't scratch up to reality. This feeling is very depressing, and again its magnified by people seeing it on social media, and you seeing other people being successful in their relationships on social media.
I read it. I hated at the beginning because shit like
>like an amoeba trying to write CSS
but it turned out to be ok near the end. Not a great nor good book by any means, but an ok reading I'd say.
My kindle says I'm 82% done with Taipei, so i guess I'll finish it tomorrow.
I found it to be much better and lucid than anything HST had to offer. Some moments are genuinely sublime. It really captures the modern, socially anxious perspective on the whole party/internet culture.
Sure some moments were less interesting, but i would never say that there was a part in the book, that made me feel earnestly bored with it.
Even when Tao Lin takes his time, he still manages to do it in a sort of dynamic way. I don't really know how to say it... Let's just say that I never felt like he's spinning he's wheels. Things are always moving forward and I always found those small moments of truly masterful descriptions. I would quote some of them but I'm lazy.
The only part that left a bed taste in my mouth is that pointless
First McDonald in Taiwan videotaping scene, i was just waiting for it to come to an end. Yeah i got it that they are high and kids are wierd and funny.
But other than that it all fits quite well together.
Some characters abruptly come and go, but i think that's the part of the statement about our society and the major point of the book.
Same goes for depiction of the drug use, that is handled perfectly. Pacing always follows characters current mental state, Paul's memory problems and pageant of his mental images, the way Tao handles those concepts was great... I really enjoyed letting my mind be carried by his descriptive stream of those images.
Overall i think this definitely is one of my all time favorites and deserves to be reread someday. It is, in a way, a product of our times, so comparison to Fear and Loathing is not out of place. However I believe it is much more conscious, mature piece of literature. I have a lot of problems with Hunter S. Thomson, but i only read one of his books so maybe ill change my mind.
Im tired af, but i hope that is good enough.
I'm really happy /lit/ made me come across this book. Fuck all the memeing chucklefucks that try to undermine this piece. I take a steaming shit on you all and Tao Lin is the fucking boss.
This book is nothing like Fear and Loathing. Fear and Loathing is outstandingly good. Tai Pei is boring. Now don't get me wrong, I liked Tai Pei for what it was, a meaningless boring book.
Taipei is one of my favorite books. I don't think Taipei said anything about 'the way we live' or made any pronouncements. Why are people comparing him to DFW and Kerouac? He's just an artist who also writes books. He's not a Bukowski type who 'needs to write.' Just read his book like you would read Raymond Carver or Hemingway or Lydia Davis. It's an account of something that happened, not a literary manifesto. The themes of isolation, recursion, impermanence, technology, memory, and death are touched upon in almost every sentence. It's Lin's most cohesive writing by far (probably due to adderall).
this is apparently the only adjective that is used to describe tao lin books
I only read 10 pages of one so I don't have any idea, but I couldn't describe those 10 pages as refreshing (more like boring and a bit aggravating)
boring, dull, and incredibly irritating at just how sperg and drug-fueled he was. You'd imagine someone fueled by drugs to be a bit more interesting or have an interesting thought and not think like a robot, but so it goes.
Still had some great moments that i marked in my copy, but the book is really just "i'm the poster child of the 21st century postmodern shit"