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The original Ritalin kid, Harmony Korine burst on the scene with Kids, a film so gritty and unsettling in its depiction of teen life that it was slapped with an NC-17 rating and banned in some theaters across the country. In some ways, the media frenzy over the rating overshadowed the harrowing portrait of teenagers destroying their lives and the then twenty-one-year-old s The original Ritalin kid, Harmony Korine burst on the scene with Kids, a film so gritty and unsettling in its depiction of teen life that it was slapped with an NC-17 rating and banned in some theaters across the country. In some ways, the media frenzy over the rating overshadowed the harrowing portrait of teenagers destroying their lives and the then twenty-one-year-old screenwriter who created them. "Whether you see the movie as a masterpiece or as sensationalism," wrote Lynn Hirshberg, "the movie is relentless and brilliant and extremely disturbing. It's powerful-both steel-eyed and sexy; horrifying and captivating." Now, in this first book of fictional set pieces, Korine captures the fragmented moments of a life observed through the demented lens of media, TV, and teen obsession. Korine reinvents the novel in this highly experimental montage of scenes that seem both real and surreal at the same time. With a filmmaker's eye and a prankster's glee, this bizarre collection of jokes, half-remembered scenes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas, and suicide notes is an episodic, epigrammatic lovesong to the world of images. Korine is the voice of his media-savvy generation and A Crack-Up at the Race Riots is the satiric lovechild of his dark imagination.


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The original Ritalin kid, Harmony Korine burst on the scene with Kids, a film so gritty and unsettling in its depiction of teen life that it was slapped with an NC-17 rating and banned in some theaters across the country. In some ways, the media frenzy over the rating overshadowed the harrowing portrait of teenagers destroying their lives and the then twenty-one-year-old s The original Ritalin kid, Harmony Korine burst on the scene with Kids, a film so gritty and unsettling in its depiction of teen life that it was slapped with an NC-17 rating and banned in some theaters across the country. In some ways, the media frenzy over the rating overshadowed the harrowing portrait of teenagers destroying their lives and the then twenty-one-year-old screenwriter who created them. "Whether you see the movie as a masterpiece or as sensationalism," wrote Lynn Hirshberg, "the movie is relentless and brilliant and extremely disturbing. It's powerful-both steel-eyed and sexy; horrifying and captivating." Now, in this first book of fictional set pieces, Korine captures the fragmented moments of a life observed through the demented lens of media, TV, and teen obsession. Korine reinvents the novel in this highly experimental montage of scenes that seem both real and surreal at the same time. With a filmmaker's eye and a prankster's glee, this bizarre collection of jokes, half-remembered scenes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas, and suicide notes is an episodic, epigrammatic lovesong to the world of images. Korine is the voice of his media-savvy generation and A Crack-Up at the Race Riots is the satiric lovechild of his dark imagination.

30 review for A Crackup at the Race Riots

  1. 5 out of 5

    Winter Branch

    For a couple of years this was my favorite book of all time. Even today I can't help but get excited when reading it. Harmony Korine's book has no flowing narrative. Instead this book is a collection of a bunch of seemingly random things. Such as strange lists: Titles of Books I Will Write: 1. A Life WIthout Pigment 5. Gentle Jesus and Drugs 21. Diary of Anne Frank part 2 Rumors 4. Ray Bradbury had scoliosis 12. G. G. Allin voted for Jimmy Carter 18. Johnny Rotten collects baseball cards 21. Tom Petty has For a couple of years this was my favorite book of all time. Even today I can't help but get excited when reading it. Harmony Korine's book has no flowing narrative. Instead this book is a collection of a bunch of seemingly random things. Such as strange lists: Titles of Books I Will Write: 1. A Life WIthout Pigment 5. Gentle Jesus and Drugs 21. Diary of Anne Frank part 2 Rumors 4. Ray Bradbury had scoliosis 12. G. G. Allin voted for Jimmy Carter 18. Johnny Rotten collects baseball cards 21. Tom Petty has a dirty fish tank Then there is the section of 11 different suicide notes (each one ending with a blank line for a signature). The different letters written by Tupac to his mother. He includes random poems, pieces of dialogues, notes added in handwriting, pictures, and more. Even though this book seems random and without direction, this book has many red threads of commonality running through it. In many ways it is like a companion piece to his film Gummo (for they both have that scattered feel). In the end the books is really a reflection of the American landscape. Korine is reacting to/remarking on many different aspects of our culture such as racism, homophobia, drugs, depression, celebrity obsession, satanism/religion, and ADD. His approach is different but perfectly appropriate given the subject matter.

  2. 5 out of 5

    framptonhollis

    Throw almost every traditional aspect of literary fiction out the window. The results will barely prepare you for this mess of a book, written by none other than divisive arthouse filmmaker Harmony Korine. I am definitely something of a fan of the man’s work; as a matter of fact, his directorial debut Gummo remains one of my favourite movies of all time. This book is somewhat similar to Korine’s more avant-garde films, but I think it’s fair to say that it takes his unconventionality and unhinged Throw almost every traditional aspect of literary fiction out the window. The results will barely prepare you for this mess of a book, written by none other than divisive arthouse filmmaker Harmony Korine. I am definitely something of a fan of the man’s work; as a matter of fact, his directorial debut Gummo remains one of my favourite movies of all time. This book is somewhat similar to Korine’s more avant-garde films, but I think it’s fair to say that it takes his unconventionality and unhinged insanity even further, if you can believe it. As expected from the eccentric Korine, A Crack-Up at the Race Riots is an absurd and experimental trip that feasts gleefully upon the utterly bizarre. It is not even remotely close to being a novel, and nor is it a short story collection or a collection of poetry. Instead, it is comprised of lists, dialogues, letters, flash fiction, and plenty more. Everything is at once extremely deadpan and wackily zany. Throughout, Korine is having a ball telling jokes and making up some of the most unexpected and ridiculous little scenarios and condensing them into phrases. It’s funny throughout, but there is also a great amount of dark, disturbing, and disgusting content. Sometimes this content is intermingled with the humour, other times the book just features an entry that is straight up dark and has you waiting for a punchline that never comes. In the middle of the book, there is a series of fictitious suicide notes and they brilliantly showcase both the black comedy of the book as well as its generally disturbing and seemingly disturbed nature. It’s by no means anywhere near perfect. It’s not something I would call “great,” it doesn’t come close to matching the quality of my favourite entries in Harmony’s overall oeuvre, and yet it remains a rather entertaining read with many spurts of brilliance and hilarity. From page to page, the book is filled with seemingly boundless surprises.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Seidlinger

    This is a review of a book that is incapable of being reviewed, simply due to how it reads differently every time I return to it. Much like Korine's filmography, A Crackup at the Race Riots teeters between the liquid narrative embedded into the page and the imagery the reader can't help but be possessed. Besides, if you think about it, every fragment is a scene in someone's life. This is a review of a book that is incapable of being reviewed, simply due to how it reads differently every time I return to it. Much like Korine's filmography, A Crackup at the Race Riots teeters between the liquid narrative embedded into the page and the imagery the reader can't help but be possessed. Besides, if you think about it, every fragment is a scene in someone's life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    My verdict, considering Korine is one of my all-time heroes - It's... okay. Far from his best work and probably for completionists or enthusiasts of avant-garde literature. He had, and would go on to make much greater things. I'll fight anyone who'll try and tell me that Harmony is just weird for the sake of being weird, but I can't fault anyone for getting that impression from this book. If you're already used to bizarre things then this will just be another one of those things. I'm just not su My verdict, considering Korine is one of my all-time heroes - It's... okay. Far from his best work and probably for completionists or enthusiasts of avant-garde literature. He had, and would go on to make much greater things. I'll fight anyone who'll try and tell me that Harmony is just weird for the sake of being weird, but I can't fault anyone for getting that impression from this book. If you're already used to bizarre things then this will just be another one of those things. I'm just not sure if his voice translates well into the novel format. Even in print most of this feels like it strives to be an image moreso than a piece of writing. There are however moments of excellence though - specifically the fragments detailing Tupac and suicides. And apart from that, this book as a whole is fun nonetheless, if you need a quick fix of weird and have a juvenile sense of humor. Another thing - I like to look at this book as a fragment of a time in culture where enfantes terrible and weirdos like Harmony actually had some kind of space in the mainstream. Remember that at least one person on Letterman's crew had to suffer through this book. That shit would never happen now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laryssa gervan

    i've read this a few times now and i think i love it. it's fantastic and terrible. it's beautiful, if you're willing to see the beauty in our ugliest parts. harmony korine also writes and directs movies. 'kids' and 'gummo', anyone? it's my projection that if you like his film work you will like this book, and if you do not like his film work you will not like this book at all. for practical purposes, this book is "a sequence of half-remembered scenes, suicide notes, dialogue fragments, movie idea i've read this a few times now and i think i love it. it's fantastic and terrible. it's beautiful, if you're willing to see the beauty in our ugliest parts. harmony korine also writes and directs movies. 'kids' and 'gummo', anyone? it's my projection that if you like his film work you will like this book, and if you do not like his film work you will not like this book at all. for practical purposes, this book is "a sequence of half-remembered scenes, suicide notes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas, rumors, and jokes." (quoted from the back of the book) this book is uncomfortable. there's a lot of anger and aggression here. there's a lot of sadness and vulnerability here. harmony's descriptions are so vivid and unforgiving. he deals with some pretty intense subject matter. there are passages that are late night scrawl when you're alone and hide where know will see, and they almost make you feel like you shouldn't be reading. there are passages that will make you laugh and you will feel like you shouldn't be laughing. my friend jeff's review said it well - there are things in life that are worth just observing. observe this and swish it around in your mind. enjoy the funny looks that you will get in public for reading a book with a burning cross and bunnypeople on the cover.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    Meh. Disjointed short chapters with no real story. Darkly funny occasionally, but not worth my time overall.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    Harmony Korine has recently fascinated me as an individual. I've seen 3 of his films, and after watching his last interview with David Letterman while he was high out of his mind on Youtube, I couldn't help but be curious as to what goes on in that fucked-up brain of his. I was absolutely elated the moment I was able to find this book, because its currently out of print. I enjoy it because of how pieced together it is. It reflects Korine's indifference with being conventional just by how it's pu Harmony Korine has recently fascinated me as an individual. I've seen 3 of his films, and after watching his last interview with David Letterman while he was high out of his mind on Youtube, I couldn't help but be curious as to what goes on in that fucked-up brain of his. I was absolutely elated the moment I was able to find this book, because its currently out of print. I enjoy it because of how pieced together it is. It reflects Korine's indifference with being conventional just by how it's put together, yet it is most likely on purpose because he has that same collage-esque quality he uses to create his films. Another reason why its an awesome read is because you can pretty much flip to any page that you want and just read tidbits of it that interest you (which was, for me, most of it). It's like Naked Lunch in that sense. It's weird, yet alluring because it's weird. If you have a vulgar or semi-vulgar sense of humor, you'll be very amused. It's nonsensical and gives you the most arbitrary information and stories about people you wouldn't even think of and probably never heard of. You also get to read a letter Tupac wrote to a fan, compared to one he wrote to his mother, which was pretty amusing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ROC

    The thing about Harmony Korine is that he isn't a good storyteller. He doesn't try to be. He's not crafting intricate tales full of characterization, tragedy, and wit. He tries to make art, and at times he succeeds, but the entirety of his niche is the presentation of situational dysfunction relying on the sensibilities of the reader. He tries to disgust the reader with images of physical/social transgression but in doing so completely removes the heart of the topic, and we move no closer to the The thing about Harmony Korine is that he isn't a good storyteller. He doesn't try to be. He's not crafting intricate tales full of characterization, tragedy, and wit. He tries to make art, and at times he succeeds, but the entirety of his niche is the presentation of situational dysfunction relying on the sensibilities of the reader. He tries to disgust the reader with images of physical/social transgression but in doing so completely removes the heart of the topic, and we move no closer to the issue at hand.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul/Suzette Graham

    This is not a book or a story or even an interesting ensemble of random dadaeque “scenes.” This is shit. I don’t know how else to describe it and I’m open to experimental literature, iconoclastic satire, and absurdism. I saw an interview of the author as a young man on Letterman. It popped up on my YouTube feed. I thought it might be interesting. Now I’m merely $10 poorer and can’t get back the time I wasted waiting on this assemblage of words (and images) to do something other than try to shock This is not a book or a story or even an interesting ensemble of random dadaeque “scenes.” This is shit. I don’t know how else to describe it and I’m open to experimental literature, iconoclastic satire, and absurdism. I saw an interview of the author as a young man on Letterman. It popped up on my YouTube feed. I thought it might be interesting. Now I’m merely $10 poorer and can’t get back the time I wasted waiting on this assemblage of words (and images) to do something other than try to shock me. It didn’t even achieve that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hatchet Mouth

    This guy has no talent. He got extremely lucky with Gummo, so much that he probably realized he'd better make a conventional film in Spring Breakers while his name was still slightly relevant. He's worse as a writer than a filmmaker. This guy has no talent. He got extremely lucky with Gummo, so much that he probably realized he'd better make a conventional film in Spring Breakers while his name was still slightly relevant. He's worse as a writer than a filmmaker.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    Still haven’t really figured out who the murderer is, but I think it is the priest...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Little poetic collection of ideas and scenes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    "Sometimes I claim to know a guy but I can't tell you what his hands look like" - Yoni Wolf. But hey, it's always better to regret what you've said than never say it, right? Haha, cheers R______ - great! I too will respond alike with random shit! His feeling was that something animalistic had taken place, perpetrated by a beast- So, kudos! Hot and shining metallic cy lindrical arms connected to the wells to the juice. Fist time I've been to one- so weird: there's nothing but sea all around, interrupted "Sometimes I claim to know a guy but I can't tell you what his hands look like" - Yoni Wolf. But hey, it's always better to regret what you've said than never say it, right? Haha, cheers R______ - great! I too will respond alike with random shit! His feeling was that something animalistic had taken place, perpetrated by a beast- So, kudos! Hot and shining metallic cy lindrical arms connected to the wells to the juice. Fist time I've been to one- so weird: there's nothing but sea all around, interrupted by one or two other platforms on the hori zon (story in there somewhere :D) First light on a new day as a freak hog. "mingling like flying ants around their mouse-sized queen" The adventures of pigfoetus and Beetlemuncher!! :) :) I suspected you were a fellow contrarian :) "Stay calm: you have been prepared for this" and drop them on their heads... No one deserves leakiness. ... Staff sergeant! HAnging in a delicate dance they swayed and spoke to him: 'I dance they swayed and spoke to him: 'I wish I had a burning belt', they said. I hate when strangers prove themselves all over you!! I love a good finger fit. YOu have been reduced to using tiny font? Gradually letters like laser beams appeared in the air, briefly at first, fading in and out as wafts of the mists touched their surface. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York? Dex trorse torsion and rhysomes-_- Please no more Cows. B___ uses some weird words, so does Leo, things get real. He was a tall, slender man in the darkest of coats, which made him appear like a shadow with a leathery head. just write METAPHOR HERE Simone stepped out of shadow hol ding a smal wooden box decorated with intricate geometric designs. Actual adult is a myth. I love Bill Murray. And I'll probably have completely contradictory opinions on it all tomorrow. It's as the woman says at the beginning, yes it is harsh, but it's true, and very beautiful. Now get that fucking scampi out of my face. Ohjeez, I just went a bit bonkers on the working class inferiority bus. If you want the opinion of a faux Norwegian hermit. My blood from a diamond. Be kind, black humour and party!! Moral of the story: if your life is crappy and alienated become a sociopath. The case of Robertson vs. fish continues. I wanted to cry, and puke. This is tough. This is tough (insert words of wisdom here) Apologies: this is tough v 2.0 - but unbelievably fucking worth it. And led me your way- so yay! Night time ours are between morning and all effing day for maximum sparkler effect :D that's edutainment! I'm already dead and my ghost can type! Cheers again for checking in, platonic writing companion!! When I think of Shia I always imagine him in a tutu. I though I had more of a point but it came out in a freeform ramble. That thing you've been banging on about- that it's worth it, totally, completely, utterly- you're actually right, dagnammit :) Yeah, it appears that every bit of writing is a new puzzle to be solved unto itself. Today the girl was caught in sunlight, her body arched on baked earth. Cut-up platonic love letter between two internet buddies, 2014-2014 Million thanks again x

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marzi Margo

    "The book is called, 'A Crackup at the Race Riots.' Harmony Korine wrote it, although he can't really recommend it." -- David Letterman To me, there is something majestically and inarguably captivating about this first novel from the so-called "enfant terrible" of dramatic independent film. Its synopsis states clearly that no plot, linear narrative, character development, or scene setting exists. Everything is somehow connected though, as each and every page investigates and/or muses upon the fra "The book is called, 'A Crackup at the Race Riots.' Harmony Korine wrote it, although he can't really recommend it." -- David Letterman To me, there is something majestically and inarguably captivating about this first novel from the so-called "enfant terrible" of dramatic independent film. Its synopsis states clearly that no plot, linear narrative, character development, or scene setting exists. Everything is somehow connected though, as each and every page investigates and/or muses upon the fractured leftovers of everywhere and everyone on this planet. Korine perfectly presents "a novel setting about the bastard wisher" with a pure, refined combination of pulchritude and putridity. Throughout his entire career, Harmony Korine has managed to turn the beautiful and the ugly into each other simultaneously, thus, allowing those who willingly acknowledge his work to possibly find some sort of new meaning within life. I personally believe that pages 6 and 175 serve as bookends that connect and complete all that lies between them. T.S. Eliot's words accidentally anthropologically endorse Korine both as a novelist and as a person. The paragraph of text that ends the book serves a very similar purpose. Most people have deemed "A Crackup at the Race Riots" as a literary companion piece to "Gummo," but moreover, this novel is actually a companion piece to everything that Harmony Korine has created (or destroyed). My only possible complaint would be that the book may end up being read with lightning-speed by any diehard fan of the author. Otherwise, "A Crackup at the Race Riots" is an essential collection for those who either appreciate or despise how Korine has developed an ultimate portrait of omnipresence.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Harmony Korine has once again become the man of the hour following the release of "Spring Breakers" in which he directs James Franco and a cadre of Disney princesses against a Skrillex score into a neon underground of debauchery. There is much to say about this film, "Spring Breakers" - primarily it begs the question of which cast members were "in" on the satire of contemporary American youth consumption culture. (However, to seek the answer to this question presupposes that the inquirer accepts Harmony Korine has once again become the man of the hour following the release of "Spring Breakers" in which he directs James Franco and a cadre of Disney princesses against a Skrillex score into a neon underground of debauchery. There is much to say about this film, "Spring Breakers" - primarily it begs the question of which cast members were "in" on the satire of contemporary American youth consumption culture. (However, to seek the answer to this question presupposes that the inquirer accepts that this film is more than the sum of its parts, which, judging by recent backlash and criticism of "pro-feminist" claims by the director, is not guaranteed.) That said, it is hard to imagine that any of the now deflowered Disney princesses were unaware that they would be subverting their pristine reputations by participating in "Spring Breakers" were they to read "A Crackup at the Race Riots." Korine has long been studying America's empty parking lots and strip malls, and has been idolizing fallen angels and tragic consequences. His book - available as a pdf online - is a disturbing glimpse into the America that cannot be packaged into a reality program, and into the complexity of human sorrow. For those who question whether there is anything of merit in Korine's films I suggest a perusal of "Crackup" - it will grant the reader/viewer with a platform upon which to accept his visual homages, motifs, and satire.

  16. 5 out of 5

    zogador

    I am a big fan of Korine's films. Several of them are top favorites of mine. Having said that, it was a mistake for me to assume that he would also create a good novella. Or perhaps I'm just too simple minded to fully appreciate what I just read. Some of the ugly parts of our society shine through in this book, just as in his films, however it was so scattered and the snippets on each page were short enough that very little continuity of any kind accrued. Or perhaps I'm too simple minded to under I am a big fan of Korine's films. Several of them are top favorites of mine. Having said that, it was a mistake for me to assume that he would also create a good novella. Or perhaps I'm just too simple minded to fully appreciate what I just read. Some of the ugly parts of our society shine through in this book, just as in his films, however it was so scattered and the snippets on each page were short enough that very little continuity of any kind accrued. Or perhaps I'm too simple minded to understand it. I tried to read this with no prior expectations. Several pages were interesting and entertaining when viewed singly and not part of the whole. The most astounding thing for me about this book is the similarity between it and another book I read which was written by a man with pschizophrenia. The styles are closely linked as well as the preoccupation with themes that are shocking or grotesque or sexually charged in a perverted way. I would not recommend this book to anyone and I will not waste my time in further analysis. But I do look forward to Korine's next film and I can appreciate it when an artist steps outside his normal medium to try something new, even if the project fails.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jon Cone

    I thought the book was a novel, at first, then realized quickly it wasn't, that it was more compendium hastily and sloppily arrived at than a careful selection arranged by an unstated artistic purpose. The book felt very zine-like, a gathering meant to shock and spur, a punk-like contempt within its many furies. When I learned that Korine had indeed written and published a series of zines this book made more sense to me, as an expressive experiment. Those of you who know Korine for his brilliant I thought the book was a novel, at first, then realized quickly it wasn't, that it was more compendium hastily and sloppily arrived at than a careful selection arranged by an unstated artistic purpose. The book felt very zine-like, a gathering meant to shock and spur, a punk-like contempt within its many furies. When I learned that Korine had indeed written and published a series of zines this book made more sense to me, as an expressive experiment. Those of you who know Korine for his brilliantly strange, disruptive and disturbing movies will find this book familiar. At times it reads very much like a filmscript in the process of being made more final, an unrevised nightmare on the way to a greater concision. If you enjoy Lynch, and maybe Richard Brautigan -- if you enjoy Brautigan's play with innocent forms -- then this book might interest you. It is a book filled with a great deal of space. You'll read it in an afternoon.

  18. 4 out of 5

    RB

    One has to wonder if, after reading the collected interviews with Mr. Korine, that this book isn't really so much a book as it is part of a larger, or in his words, "universal" shtick, with this book representing a fuck you to expectations, the publishing world, or just a fun prank with a lot of bizarre content with jokes, lies, random pictures, gossip, letters by Tupac, lists, and other basically unconnected bits. So how much you, the reader, will enjoy this . . . collection of one man's inner One has to wonder if, after reading the collected interviews with Mr. Korine, that this book isn't really so much a book as it is part of a larger, or in his words, "universal" shtick, with this book representing a fuck you to expectations, the publishing world, or just a fun prank with a lot of bizarre content with jokes, lies, random pictures, gossip, letters by Tupac, lists, and other basically unconnected bits. So how much you, the reader, will enjoy this . . . collection of one man's inner rambles really only depends on if you like his work, and some who like his work may even find nothing here, fair enough, "A Crackup at the Race Riots" still remains a peculiar oddity that is anything but boring.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    Yeah I kept a journal in high school too but nobody ever wanted to publish it because I never made avant-garde cinema. Even if there is a small peek into Korine's psyche on display here it is all too curated and so far removed from giving a fuck it also doesn't care about being entertaining. Korine will always fascinate me and I usually end up defending his work when others criticize it because in some way I empathize with what he is going for on the screen. But this book is just a slap dash mes Yeah I kept a journal in high school too but nobody ever wanted to publish it because I never made avant-garde cinema. Even if there is a small peek into Korine's psyche on display here it is all too curated and so far removed from giving a fuck it also doesn't care about being entertaining. Korine will always fascinate me and I usually end up defending his work when others criticize it because in some way I empathize with what he is going for on the screen. But this book is just a slap dash mess printed on the wave of his success.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    “I bet you have no more friends than an alarm clock.” “I gave up bowling for sex-- the balls are lighter and I don’t have to wear shoes.” “Incest is relative.” “My brother had a heart attack snorting cocaine off the cover of a Pete Seeger album.” “Robert Frost Bite.” “I knew this one pitcher who got arrested for chewing tobacco. One day he spit and drowned a midget.” “A mistress is something between a master and a mattress.” It's Korine. Not much more I can say right now. “I bet you have no more friends than an alarm clock.” “I gave up bowling for sex-- the balls are lighter and I don’t have to wear shoes.” “Incest is relative.” “My brother had a heart attack snorting cocaine off the cover of a Pete Seeger album.” “Robert Frost Bite.” “I knew this one pitcher who got arrested for chewing tobacco. One day he spit and drowned a midget.” “A mistress is something between a master and a mattress.” It's Korine. Not much more I can say right now.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Udai

    well that brings weird to a whole new level I really like Korine and think that he's one of the best directors ever this book that he wrote isn't really anovel just like his movie gummo isn't really a movie it's pieces of cracked up stories that will consume you one of the gloomiest people ever you can't but love him well that brings weird to a whole new level I really like Korine and think that he's one of the best directors ever this book that he wrote isn't really anovel just like his movie gummo isn't really a movie it's pieces of cracked up stories that will consume you one of the gloomiest people ever you can't but love him

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christina knox

    One of those gems that seems less and less in left field with every passing year. it kind of seems like the print version of some ironic art school hipster's blog now, yet when it came out, no one really understood it. One of those gems that seems less and less in left field with every passing year. it kind of seems like the print version of some ironic art school hipster's blog now, yet when it came out, no one really understood it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Downer

    There are things on earth worth time just to observe. This book does that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I didn't understand this book when I started it and I almost dismissed it as baseless shock value. Almost. Reading this book is like submitting yourself to a dissociative episode, like reading bathroom stall graffiti when you're drunk as hell and wanting to cry but not knowing why, like finding a vandalized copy of People Magazine in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. It's a whirlwind of rumors, pointless scenes, scrawled shorthand, pleas, and suicide notes. It's a deluge of famous names that I didn't understand this book when I started it and I almost dismissed it as baseless shock value. Almost. Reading this book is like submitting yourself to a dissociative episode, like reading bathroom stall graffiti when you're drunk as hell and wanting to cry but not knowing why, like finding a vandalized copy of People Magazine in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. It's a whirlwind of rumors, pointless scenes, scrawled shorthand, pleas, and suicide notes. It's a deluge of famous names that are abused and dismantled so often they detach themselves from any kind of real-life referent and populate the half-remembered world of Korine's inverted Americana like shades with shit-sniffing fetiches. This is a story without a story, a blur of sights and sounds set in an everywhere where only Famous people live. There's really no narrative, just segments and whispers that materialize from the blank of the page and then recede as quickly as they came. It's like walking blindfolded down an arcade of gossipmongers and sleaze-slingers. It's like sinking into a bathtub full of dishwater and catching burbled newsflashes from the TV in the other room. It's like going grocery shopping in a K-Mart full of schizophrenics. This is a book that you can't really analyze, you just have to absorb it and digest it and let its haphazard and itchy verse click with the parts of your personality that you don't know to articulate. It works best if you're drunk, depressed, or manic. It's a mood-piece, the kind of environmental storytelling that Harmony Korine has proven his prowess with time and time again, and despite some reluctance at the beginning, I found myself completely enamored with this weird, weird piece of auto fiction. I can't really rate it, since I think trying to do so would be pointless. It either works for you or it doesn't. So in lieu of a quantifiable score, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite fragments: I leave all my belongings to the NAACP, except my art deco wall clock, which I would like to leave to the Dayton, Ohio public library because this was the place that I first discovered the works of Emily Brontë and S. E. Hinton, whose works inspired me to become a failed midget writer. i was goin to ___ die by my own hand and god jumped on me he said pull the trigger if you want i won't be angry its ok to kill yourself a young kid should not kill oneself but god said go ahead make my day what could ____ i do then 43. Emily Brontë used to ride her horse to a special place on the side of a mountain. She would sit and eat her licorice and dream of far-off places.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Everett

    After being a big fan of 'Gummo' and finding Korine's cinematic work to be a massive inspiration when it comes to my own writing...I wasn't really sure what to expect from a novel of his, and I'm glad I didn't. Suicide letters, rumours, scenes, doodles and film titles make up this book and while it was first a little difficult to get into, the novelist in me seeking some form of typical structure, it only took a couple of turns of the page to delve into the book and get absorbed in the frenetic After being a big fan of 'Gummo' and finding Korine's cinematic work to be a massive inspiration when it comes to my own writing...I wasn't really sure what to expect from a novel of his, and I'm glad I didn't. Suicide letters, rumours, scenes, doodles and film titles make up this book and while it was first a little difficult to get into, the novelist in me seeking some form of typical structure, it only took a couple of turns of the page to delve into the book and get absorbed in the frenetic changing of setting and character that occurred in every new paragraph and, often, every new line. Apologies to my housemates for having to listen to me reading out strange little sections that took me by surprise, for it's the kind of writing you feel like you really need to share to make sure it's real and not just a hallucination caused by not having left the house in four days. This is a book I know I'm going to flick back to while continuing to write my own work not only as a source of inspiration when it comes to the characters and the worlds that I'll create but also as a reminder that the rules we've been taught about what makes a "great" piece of fiction really don't exist at all. When it comes down to you and the page, you can create whatever you want, whether that's an epic novel with Aristotelian structure, a collection of short stories or some of the strangest scenes and one-liners you've ever read in your life. Do what you want! Ah, the freedom! Love it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily K.

    It's like twitter, before twitter. No wait. It's like a publisher thought they could capitalize on the half formed manuscript of an enfant terrible. No wait. It's an "experimental novel" (yuck, yawn). No wait. I just wanted to revisit this book, because I read it in high school, because I read it in college, because I put more weight in how profound it could have been, but ultimately feel just OK with it as a collection of thoughts from a brilliant filmmaker, because Gummo and Julian Donkey Boy It's like twitter, before twitter. No wait. It's like a publisher thought they could capitalize on the half formed manuscript of an enfant terrible. No wait. It's an "experimental novel" (yuck, yawn). No wait. I just wanted to revisit this book, because I read it in high school, because I read it in college, because I put more weight in how profound it could have been, but ultimately feel just OK with it as a collection of thoughts from a brilliant filmmaker, because Gummo and Julian Donkey Boy and Spring Breakers are incredible explorations of the American hologram, whereas Crack-Up lacks a sort of thematic propulsion outside of its formal and topical obsessions. It's like at a certain point you can call anything anything until you put the thing under the microscope to see what is, what's there, what are you telling me, why?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luke Butler

    It must be true that authors give away a piece of their individuality in self-expression. It must be true that in writing a novel one must reflect upon their past when writing the lives of others. Therefore, what are these nativities fragments encompassed in this novel? Korine audaciously shares scenes of countless figures, often at what seems to be an intrusive manner. Each piece of writing reflects a moment of life. Each moment of life is a moment past. Some may make sense, some may not. It is It must be true that authors give away a piece of their individuality in self-expression. It must be true that in writing a novel one must reflect upon their past when writing the lives of others. Therefore, what are these nativities fragments encompassed in this novel? Korine audaciously shares scenes of countless figures, often at what seems to be an intrusive manner. Each piece of writing reflects a moment of life. Each moment of life is a moment past. Some may make sense, some may not. It is not the responsibility of the author to elaborate on these moments. The reader must spectate all lives equally and take from them what they wish. The thoughts and experiences Korine shares here are incredible insights into an abstract mind such as himself, one who refuses to extinguish the ideas that provoke him.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jed Richardson

    A great distillation of his films into the print medium; in that after reading it, I am so tempted to give this like 2 stars and have that be it. But; as with a lot of outsider art, it's probably better to give this some time. But yeah, this really was his films condensed into book form. Their were parts where I wasn't sure I should be laughing, there were bits where I just thought that the whole thing was a juvenile piece of trash, there were parts where I thought he was mean, and their were pa A great distillation of his films into the print medium; in that after reading it, I am so tempted to give this like 2 stars and have that be it. But; as with a lot of outsider art, it's probably better to give this some time. But yeah, this really was his films condensed into book form. Their were parts where I wasn't sure I should be laughing, there were bits where I just thought that the whole thing was a juvenile piece of trash, there were parts where I thought he was mean, and their were parts where I was uncomfortable. I started skimming some passages towards the end; after more often than not, they led to nothing. Brief read, that I'll probably end up forgetting.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jake Kasten

    I thought everyone was over doing it on the idea that this was a book that couldn't really be reviewed. They were surprisingly correct. There's nothing coherent in here, it's nonsense with bits of beautiful humanity or bits of beautiful prose (the two don't really interact). There's a whole lot of head scratching to be done while you read this one. Thoughts rarely extend beyond 1 paragraph. There are disjointed lists, fake letters from Tupac, a series of suicide notes, and all sorts other unexpe I thought everyone was over doing it on the idea that this was a book that couldn't really be reviewed. They were surprisingly correct. There's nothing coherent in here, it's nonsense with bits of beautiful humanity or bits of beautiful prose (the two don't really interact). There's a whole lot of head scratching to be done while you read this one. Thoughts rarely extend beyond 1 paragraph. There are disjointed lists, fake letters from Tupac, a series of suicide notes, and all sorts other unexpected goodies. I liked it? I hated it? I recommend it?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    I am a bit at loss here as how to rate or review this book. It's much like his movies: sometimes you laugh, sometimes you feel someone's pain, sometimes you feel extremely uncomfortable, sometimes you have no idea what he's on about and sometimes all those mix together in one single line. This guy is truly one of a kind and his ideas and thoughts are completely eclectic (aka wacky). No wonder he had too little patience to finish more movies, his mind cannot stay still. Loved: 2Pac letters, suicide I am a bit at loss here as how to rate or review this book. It's much like his movies: sometimes you laugh, sometimes you feel someone's pain, sometimes you feel extremely uncomfortable, sometimes you have no idea what he's on about and sometimes all those mix together in one single line. This guy is truly one of a kind and his ideas and thoughts are completely eclectic (aka wacky). No wonder he had too little patience to finish more movies, his mind cannot stay still. Loved: 2Pac letters, suicide notes, ten ethnic adolescent atrocities and a lot of random sentences.

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