Alex Balk's unrealized novel

The Awl founder muses on his idea for the ultimate pomo literary novel: "the book would be told solely through reviews written by its protagonist. There would never be a line of dialogue". But he forgets his achievements; this won the Booker Prize in 199A.


      1. Maybe year 199A is supposed to be in the Jewish calendar.  So basically, the year starting March 24th, 2,794 CE (or March 18, AEA).

        /Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?  In years past, that reply would have required at least a day of Pyroto-like research and would have used up 8 kgs of carbon credits!

  1. “one of my ideas was that in each of the reviews, the penultimate paragraph would begin with “To be sure,” which would lead into five or six lines that stated the complete opposite of everything that had preceded it in the review before seguing back into the original tone of the piece.”
    That sounds like every New York Times Book Review review ever written.

  2. ALEX BALK, have you read your new book in print? Have you pulled up one of the 500 pages and looked at the words? Did you read them? Did they live up to your expectations?

    Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the table of contents, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?

    Did you notice that the table of contents was an unreliable predictor of what actually appeared in the novel?

    What is going on at this new book of yours, really?

    How did nouns, one of the hardest part of speech in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? Why augment personal pronouns with fried adverbs that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those pronouns under a properly hot and filling layer of melted participles and conjunctions  instead of dribbling them with thin needles of interjections and cold gray clots of ground adjectives.

    By the way, would you let our author know that when we asked for hot words, he brought us a cup of cold Alphabits?

    When you hung that paragraph by the beginning that says, WELCOME TO LITERATURE TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?

    Does this make it sound as if everything in this book is unreadable?

    I didn’t say that, did I?

    Nota bene

  3. Wasn’t this already a book? I remember a guy wrote a book that was all comment cards from Wendy’s burger joints. Ah, google, I found it.

Comments are closed.