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When it was ready she passed out paper cups of coffee then went back to the kitchen and made another pot, continuing to make pot after pot of coffee, coming in inbetween to sit at goldies feet. The guys slowly snapped out of their tea goof and soon the bennie got to their tongues too and everybody yakked.

This is not difficult.

Last Exit to Brooklyn (Evergreen Book)

The prose flows hypnotically from almost boring and then and then and then narrative to dialogue to interior monologue and back again without any breaks. The minutely described incidents trundle along and without warning violence erupts and the violence is then described in the same slightly stoned unemotional way. Selby makes no judgements, he's just on a mission to tell you about this stuff he knows and he knows you don't know.

So this book's difficulty comes from the constant depiction of degeneration, the unredeemed bleakness and horribleness of Selby's truthtelling, that all the characters are relentlessly graceless, nasty, violent, or nervewrackingly stupid, and that their lives both internal and external are revealed pitilessly to our flinching ears, that the men appear to hate the women, that the couples all have babies and children who they find unbearable, that there's never any money which causes most of the bitterness, that there's never any love.

And here's the other difficulty. The two longest and greatest of the intertwined stories are the Queen is Dead and Strike. Both depict gay men and both I think enshrine the worst possible images of gay men. That night Harry went to the dragball. Hundreds of fairies were there dressed as women, some having rented expensive gowns, jewelry and fur wraps. They pranced about the huge ballroom calling to each other, hugging each other, admiring each other, sneering disdainfully as a hated queen passed.


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O just look at the rags she's wearing. She looks like a bowery whore. Well, lets face it, its not the clothes. She would look simply ugly in a Dior original, and they would stare contemptuously and continue prancing. In Strike Selby gives us a guy who finds out he's gay and goes through a horrible personal meltdown during which he performs a sex attack on a ten year old boy. So Selby has prancing fairies in drag and he has a gay man attacking a child. Underneath its avant style, Last Exit is about as politically incorrect as its possible to be.

You really can't say that, Hubert. But Selby makes those guys look like mealymouthed tergiversators, which they really weren't. Selby's amplifier goes to 11, not ten like everyone else's. His book is a white hot shriek of pain.

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It's awful. Last Exit's influence has been massive. Madame George by Van Morrison likewise. Last Exit also bequeathed Trainspotting to us and fortunately Irvine Welsh was able to suffuse great humour and pity into his tales of junkie scumbags. It's five stars from me, but I don't know if I'd honestly recommend it to anyone.

View all 29 comments. This book is an assault. So reading Last Exit to Brooklyn and enjoying it, like I very much did, could be akin to a kind of literary Stockholm syndrome. Less a novel and more a collection of vignettes, Selby Jr. Perhaps the most famous book t This book is an assault. Written in a style that I can only describe as somewhere between Kerouac and nonsense, the book takes the reader hostage.

Due to its style it is nearly impossible to skim this book, or not give it your full attention. So you are forced to read every single word in order for any of it to make sense. Which means you are forced to witness every murder, every rape, every mutilation, and every single blowjob. During 2 Girls 1 Cup I just feel sorry for the cleaner. Obviously this book will not be for everyone. But it does wonderfully capture that odd time in American literature. The 60s.

Post-Beats, mid-Vietnam, pre-psychedelia. A time when really anything went. And it did. And this is the result. View all 3 comments. Apr 04, A. Shelves: druuugs. Rare is the book that leaves me so disoriented and raw-nerved. This is an excruciatingly penetrating vision of the total dregs; a narrative of self-delusion, rough trade, addiction and thanatos thanatos thanatos. Selby, Jr.

Last Exit to Brooklyn, An Evergreen book by Hubert Selby Jr | | Booktopia

Do I sound like some dumbfuck blurb or what? Read this. View 2 comments. Had I read this at the time of release in it would have seemed like being struck by a lightning bolt from hell where one was made to feel sick, disgusted and appalled by it's graphic depiction of pretty much the worst that human behaviour has to offer.

Last Exit to Brooklyn (Evergreen Book) (Paperback)

Fast forward to and nothing has changed, this is a shocking, gut-wrenching read which creates a vision of hell on earth for a bunch of New Yorkers who are just about as far away from the american dream as possible. Selby Jr was a genius Had I read this at the time of release in it would have seemed like being struck by a lightning bolt from hell where one was made to feel sick, disgusted and appalled by it's graphic depiction of pretty much the worst that human behaviour has to offer.

Selby Jr was a genius in my view, he really had a pair of balls to even be thinking of putting pen to paper and you truly do stand up and take notice. You want to run and hide but you can't, you want the pain to stop, but it doesn't, you want the book to end, but you don't, then you start to think, hang on a minute this guy has got a point, this is human nature whether we refuse to believe it or not, this IS real life in all it's horrible glory, and a wake up call for all those who think america is a big fat cream cake sprinkled with stardust and a cherry on top.

View 1 comment. May 25, Megan rated it it was amazing. Good God, this is a brutal book. The writing style's brilliant, but the stories are so vivid that the pain of the characters is visceral. It's not a novel so much as it's a series of short stories that tie together to portray the hell-hole that was 's Brooklyn. There was a whole obscenity case about this book when it was published in the early 's: the story that received the most attention for being obscene, however, was not the one I found most painful.

The most infamous story was "Tral Good God, this is a brutal book. The most infamous story was "Tralala", which is about a teenage girl who slowly destroys herself and is destroyed by others as she uses her body for male attention and for money. However, her character was not as sympathetic as that of Georgette in "The Queen is Dead". Overall, it's amazing how words on a page can break your heart, but Last Exit to Brooklyn definitely does.

Grabbed this from my stash Saturday evening and started blazing through it, rapt! Could not put it down.

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Finished Sunday Uncompromising portrait of petty slothfulness and violence in grim Brooklyn in the s. The Jennifer Jason Leigh film was fine and disturbing, but it can't capture the earnest immediacy of this book and the machine-gun style of expression of the colloquialisms and the stream of consciousness. This is masterly, it seems to have flowed off Selby's fingers the way Kerouac's "On the Road" did.


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