Tao Lin's absorbing writing style matches a minimalist prose with a lyric sensibility, poignant compassion with a hysterical sense of humor, bitter reality with enchanting fantasy, and youthful outlandishness with a gentle, mature perceptiveness - all in shaped stories that are a tribute to the form.
In a series of pinpoint portrayals, Lin's tales depict young people in a surreal place between irresponsible youth and workaday adulthood, wanting to reject both cultures in order to craft something different. But such rebellion is harder than ever in a culture dominated by outrageousness, and Lin sensitively portrays the struggle in a way that is highly entertaining, impressively smart, and ultimately moving.
It will leave some cheering the war against a dumbed-down culture, others laughing at the tactics, and all concerned feeling like they've got a new champion in Tao Lin.
'Tao Lin's territory is the rich, neglected space between the bigger things we thought we already knew. Only in his hands everything becomes strange - a little warped, a little sad, and a whole lot more intriguing. With understated lyricism, he reminds us that if we can't fix things, then at least we can try to see them with perfect clarity.' -Todd Hasak-Lowy, author of The Task of This Translator