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Justin Taylor (2) (1982–)

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6+ Works 446 Members 18 Reviews

Værker af Justin Taylor

The Apocalypse Reader (2007) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 195 eksemplarer
The Gospel of Anarchy: A Novel (2011) 85 eksemplarer
Flings: Stories (2014) 42 eksemplarer

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"I could use another drink," she says. She only had a few before closing, and then one while she cleaned up. I say I'll have one too and she eyes me, deciding whether to start in on the question of if I need another. I don't, probably, no, I know I don't, but if she doesn't start in--she doesn't--I will have what I want, which is different from what I need: what a surprise.

The characters in Justin Taylor's short story collection are generally young, working menial jobs and are definitely not hipsters living in Brooklyn. From a lonely teenage asked to do something unpleasant by the uncle who had welcomed him into his family, to a guy working at the deli counter who is involved with a married woman, each story looks at all the ways people connect and fail to connect with each other. As in any collection, some stories are better than others, but all are well-written and even the less successful stories are trying to do something interesting.

Judge has nothing to do with this story. He wasn't even at home. We let ourselves in, swiped a six-pack from his fridge, and went back to Joe Brown's. Judge is simply a character on whom I can't help but dwell some. Something pulls my thoughts back his way. He inspires loathing so pure, to be silent about it seems no less a crime than denying love.
… (mere)
RidgewayGirl | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jul 22, 2022 |
I only liked two stories in Justin Taylor's Flings. They were 'Flings' and 'After Ellen'. I liked them the most since characters from the first story do appear in the second one. Everything else in this book was a wash. I don't get the appeal of reading about seriously screwed up people, as depicted in 'A Talking Cure' or a story about whatever the heck it is supposed to be about but I think maybe clementines in 'Adon Olam'. Nothing much made sense and I found this to be a boring collection of stories. Sadly all of the narrators seemed to possess the same voice which is a neat trick since sometimes the narrator was a man or a woman or a teenager, etc.

I swear that for me the only three authors that I have found that can write short stories are Stephen King, Dean Koontz (I really wish he do another Strange Highways book) and Maeve Binchy.

It is an art to be able to tell a story in just a few pages and be able to imbue those characters with personality and depth. It takes talent to make me care about them in just a few short pages and wonder about them after I close the book. This collection did none of those things for me at all.

Please note that I received this book for free via the Amazon Vine Program.
… (mere)
ObsidianBlue | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jul 1, 2020 |
From the back cover:

In landlocked Gainesville, Florida, in the hot, fraught summer of 1999, a college dropout named David sleepwalks through his life — a dull haze of office work and Internet porn — until a run in with a lost friend jolts him from his torpor. He is drawn into the vibrant but grimy world of Fishgut, a rundown house where a loose collective of anarchists, burnouts, and libtertines practice utopia outside society and the law. Some even see their lifestyle as a spiritual calling. They watch for the return of a mysterious hobo who will — they hope — transform their punk oasis into the Bethlehem of a zealous, strange new creed.

The Gospel of Anarchy by Justin Taylor is one of my favorites of 2011 so far. It opens with David, a college dropout working at a call center in Gainesville who is addicted to Internet porn, jerking off and throwing his laptop into a bathtub.

At home there was no conversation. No back and forth. No feigned ease, no modulated voice. No voice, period. Silence reigned. Quiet clicks. The world opened up to me through a small bright window, my personal laptop computer, which was of course too heavy and ran too hot to actually keep on my lap, not that I wanted it there. I had to use a plug-in trackball mouse because I couldn’t get the hang of the touchpad thing. The laptop was barely a year old, still more or less state-of-the-art, and had pride of place on the desk in my living room, where I sat and surfed a wave that never crested, climbed a mountain that never peaked. Curved, oiled, chesty, slick, spread; sometimes I imagined the girls in a kind of march, and endless parade celebrating — what? Themselves, I guess, or me. pg. 9

David is unlikable. He’s the sort of lost that doesn’t really care if he’s found or not. He’ll accept any sort of connection. He’ll follow whatever path in order to get there. When he meets the punk anarchists, he falls in love with their carefree lifestyle. The residents of Fishgut are punks, hippies, anarchists, and anarchristians. After David quits his job, moves out of his apartment, and becomes a resident of Fishgut, the book begins to ramble in an amazing way.

Truth is, these Catholics’ moderateness, and more generally their modernity, is at the heart of what spooks her about them. How the archness and the archaism of their faith seems to fit so snugly in with the regular lives they’re all living right now. What can the gilded crucifix, and the Man hung thereon, mean to the boy who buys sweatshop-produced Nikes at the mall by the highway? To the girl with the sorority pin, or anyone behind the wheel of an SUV? She knows these are cliché questions, straight out of Anticapitalism 101, but cliché or not, the questions are earnest. How can it be that the crucified Christ means so many different things to so many different people all at once? How can He contain it all? pg. 63

The Gospel of Anarchy explores faith and belief — in God, in a mysterious and absent punk-anarchist, in nothing — and how faith and belief can be fleeting, can be found and lost, can mean everything and also mean nothing. For David, this newly found faith in “Anarchristianism” means everything. He lost his girlfriend, dropped out of college, and was working at a job he hated just to pay the bills. When he finds Fishgut, his life suddenly has meaning.

Truly transcendent moments seem to lose something in the re-telling–they tend to be fleeting, and rooted in some feeling of extreme presence: a stronger or better sense of self, or of synchronicity between the self and the universe. When writing is going very well it can feel that way, and this is what Katy has in mind when she goes to the Devil’s Millhopper in chapter two. Art is not a religion, but the making of it and the reception of it can both qualify as devotional acts. - Jonathan Taylor in an interview at The Rumpus

Taylor’s writing is better suited for novel-length works. His short story collection, Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, was good, but it could have been better. You could tell that he had so much more to say, that he had all this potential, but it was wasted on short stories. Taylor finds his voice in The Gospel of Anarchy. If you haven’t already, read this book.
… (mere)
joshanastasia | 6 andre anmeldelser | Oct 20, 2016 |
I was extremely disappointed with this collection of short stories. They were written well, for the most part, but there was a lot of potential in them that was never quite realized.
joshanastasia | 3 andre anmeldelser | Oct 20, 2016 |


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Associated Authors

John Piper Foreword, Honoree
Mark R. Talbot Contributor
Bruce A. Ware Contributor
Wayne Grudem Contributor
A. B. Caneday Contributor
William C. Davis Contributor
Stephen J. Wellum Contributor
Chad Brand Contributor
Michael S. Horton Contributor
Russell Fuller Contributor
David Michael Contributor
Gregory K. Beale Contributor
Ray Ortlund Contributor
Jon Bloom Contributor
David Livingston Contributor
Scott J. Hafemann Contributor
C. J. Mahaney Contributor
John MacArthur Contributor
David Powlison Contributor
Mark Dever Contributor
Tom Steller Contributor
Stephen J. Nichols Contributor
David Mathis Contributor
Randy Alcorn Contributor
William D. Mounce Contributor
D. A. Carson Contributor
Jared Hohl Contributor
Tao Lin Contributor
Adam Nemett Contributor
Colette Phair Contributor
David Elliot Contributor
Deb Olin Unferth Contributor
Neil Gaiman Contributor
Stacey Levine Contributor
Ursula K. Le Guin Contributor
Carol Emshwiller Contributor
H. G. Wells Contributor
Edgar Allan Poe Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
H. P. Lovecraft Contributor
Rick Moody Contributor
Kelly Link Contributor
Dennis Cooper Contributor
Steve Aylett Contributor
Josip Novakovich Contributor
Lynne Tillman Contributor
Terese Svoboda Contributor
Shelley Jackson Contributor
Brian Evenson Contributor
Gary Lutz Contributor
Matthew Derby Contributor
Theodora Goss Contributor
Diane Williams Contributor
Grace Aguilar Contributor
Michael Moorcock Contributor
Lucy Corin Contributor
Robert Bradley Contributor
Jeff Goldberg Contributor
Laura Isaacman Introduction
Randy Rosenthal Introduction


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