Review of Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever by Justin TaylorEverything Here Is The Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor
Published by HarperCollins on 2010-02-09
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

Justin Taylor's crystalline, spare, and oddly moving prose cuts to the quick. His characters are guided by misapprehensions that bring them to hilarious but often tragic impasses with reality: a high school boy's desire to win over a crush leads him to experiment with black magic, a fast-food employee preoccupied by Abu Ghraib becomes obsessed with a coworker, a Tetris player attempts to beat his own record while his girlfriend sleeps and the world outside their window blazes to its end. Fearless and astute, funny and tragic, this collection heralds the arrival of a unique literary talent.

Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor, besides being a book with an incredibly long title, is a collection of short stories, basically about hipsters being unemployed doing un-glamourous things. Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever is small, topping off at 185 pages. The stories are gritty. Some I related with and some I did not.

Stylistically, Taylor is excellent. The words just seem to flow off the page. Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever reminded me a bit of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing. The people within are inherently flawed, I don’t really care much for the characters, but I still want to know what happens because the words weave a spell.

My favorite story within Everything Here is The Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor was Jewels Flashing in the Night of Time which basically involves this guy playing Tetris during the apocalypse. Tetris plus world-ending gets a giant thumbs up from me.

Aside from that, not much for me to say, as this was such a slim book without an overarching plot, or main characters. Just short stories, and if that’s what you like, then I say, pick Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever up.

“It was so thorough, almost as if he were trying to say that if he could no longer work in an office then by God he would keep such a spotless and ordered home that the family would come to see how his lost job had been a good fortune in disguise.” – pg. 47

Story of my life. I currently work one day per week as I’m waiting to hear back about being approved to sub, and my current job doesn’t have the budget to give me more hours. Therefore, I clean and read all day. Seriously.

“She is a magic trick and I am either the magician or the crowd” – pg. 155
Sparse, beautiful, me likey.

four-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. I fear your cleaning habit may be slightly out of control if you identify with that quote – have you considered baking? (shudder, bad baking memories just hit me). I hear good things about this book (especially the Tetris story), I think someone said they never thought they'd care about ageing white hipsters until they read this book. Sounds quite quirky and fun.

  2. Christina T says:

    Interesting review. I have enjoyed some short stories that I've read but I'm usually picky because I like more plot development (one exception is Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories).

    I hope that you will be approved to sub. I am currently unemployed and so I spend my days reading, cleaning, and blogging about what I read. I would rather give up some of my reading time for income!

    By the way, I wanted to pass on this blog award to you.

  3. Angelique says:

    Interesting review, added to my Amazon wishlist, will pick this up shortly 🙂

  4. alitareads says:

    Seriously, that is a great title. I would pick up the collection just for the title. Hearing that the stories are well-written? Even better! Got to look into this one.

  5. justicejenniferreads says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. I've been reading a lot more short stories lately and short story anthologies so I just might have to consider picking this one up. The writing certainly sounds fantastic.

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