Taipei is a novel by Tao Lin. It is his third novel. Contents. 1 Background; 2 Cover . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Tao Lin's new novel, “Taipei,” is about a media-savvy young novelist in he feels his memories downloading into his mind, like PDF files. On the fully booked, thirteen-hour twenty-nine-minute flight to Narita, where they would transfer to a three-hour fifteen-minute flight to Taiwan.
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In the first glimpse of Tao Lin's new novel 'Taipei,' we learn about main character Paul and his difficult upbringing in Florida. Book Launch: Taipei by Tao Lin. Jun 5, In the misleadingly named Brooklyn neighborhood commonly referred to as DUMBO (misleading because there. While promoting his newest novel, Taipei (), Tao Lin blogged that after a reading in Brooklyn an audience member asked him “something like if I.
Entering middle school, sixth to eighth grade, Paul wanted to play percussion like three of his friends, including his "best friend," Hunter, but his piano teacher said percussion would bore him, so he chose trumpet, which he disliked, but continued playing until the summer before high school, when he switched to percussion on the first day of "band camp," which was ten hours of practice every weekday for two weeks. Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change. The plot is an endless cycle in which Paul 1 feels bored, socially anxious or sad; 2 takes Klonopin, MDMA, Adderall, mushrooms or Xanax; 3 does something embarrassing or rude while on drugs; 4 feels bored, socially anxious or sad. Today On Thought Catalog: He's drug-dulled, antisocial and emotionally barren. Coverage spans the
He recently accused a journalist profiling him for New York Magazine of stealing his Adderall. He emailed the gossip website Gawker updates on his daily activities until they publicly begged him to stop, writing that he was "perhaps the single most irritating person we've ever had to deal with.
His last novel caused a New York Times critic to contemplate suicide. Taipei, Lin's newest book, is similarly uncategorizable: At once very bad and very good, it swings between dullness and wild, excessive beauty.
Taipei follows Paul — who closely resembles Lin — as he lies in bed, "looks at the Internet," goes on drugged wanderings around New York and Taipei and has relationships with various quiet, broken girls. Most novelists edit life into a more interesting version of experience, but in Taipei Lin refuses, almost sadistically, to entertain the reader. This may be a strategy as much as a failure: Lin pushes the reader into boredom and despair to force a kind of transcendent empathy with the bored, despairing Paul.
The plot is an endless cycle in which Paul 1 feels bored, socially anxious or sad; 2 takes Klonopin, MDMA, Adderall, mushrooms or Xanax; 3 does something embarrassing or rude while on drugs; 4 feels bored, socially anxious or sad. Writing a novel that blankly relates the events of an uneventful life is a little like filming yourself on MDMA and publishing the results as a movie — which Lin has done.
Tao Lin edits the independent publisher Muumuu House. For one thing, deadpan realism is a clever shield against criticism: If the novel is bad or boring, well, life is bad and boring. At one point Paul thinks, "I was like a bored robot," which, aside from bouts of excruciating social anxiety and shame, is an apt description of Paul's general mental landscape: He's drug-dulled, antisocial and emotionally barren.
That is not to say that there's nothing lovely in Taipei. Moments of real beauty appear, sudden, stark and unexpected as a skyscraper in the jungle, before the narrative retreats back into drugs and ennui and the bright, blank draw of the Internet, Paul's constant companion.
With a funny and sad description of his shy childhood, Lin perfectly captures Paul's horrified and humiliated sense of his own existence:. When he heard laughter, before he could think or feel anything, his heart would already be beating like he'd sprinted twenty yards.
As the beating gradually normalized he'd think of how his heart, unlike him, was safely contained, away from the world, behind bone and inside skin, held by muscles and arteries in its place, carefully off-center, as if to artfully assert itself as source and creator, having grown the chest to hide in and to muffle and absorb — and, later, after innovating the brain and face and limbs, to convert into productive behavior — its uncontrollable, indefensible, unexplainable, embarrassing squeezing of itself.
Or, Lin describes saying goodbye to his mother at the airport and thinks "of how, in the entrance-less caves of themselves, everyone was already, always orphaned.
He imagined building-size letters suddenly appearing, left to right, in a rush — wpkjgijfhtetiukgcnlm — across the desert. In these rare sentences, Lin gives to buildings, cars and computers the kind of rapturous attention that other writers give to mountains, lakes and trees. And for all its frequent dullness, Lin's prose is innovative.
But Mr. Smartphone texts are scrutinized for minute layers of meaning.
Links to blogs are a form of social currency. One is Mr.
This fluid novel also posits that the online world is more addictive, more mind-bending and perhaps more destructive than anything you will find in a pharmacy or buy from a dealer. I liked this paranoid observation: To employ an image that Mr. The novel is an ostensibly dead thing that turns out to be quite alive. Lin, a hint I hope he will be able to cultivate. He delivers chilly scenes of winter.