Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #38: I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

Number of pages: 277

I had read a lot about this new cult novel, including about the Amazon Prime series starring Kevin Bacon, that I felt I had to give it a go. Although, as Joan Hawkins notes in the afterword, "Novel" is perhaps not the right word to give to this very most-modern title.

The story is set in the 1990s and involves a (presumably fictional) version of author Chris Kraus and her husband Sylvere, meeting the eponymous Dick, who invites them back to stay over at his house. By morning, Dick is gone, but Chris slowly becomes obsessed with him to the point of stalking.

The book is not written in a traditional format, but mostly takes the form of a series of letters, mostly written from Chris to Dick, although there are some conversations in screenplay format and diary entries. I liked Joan Hawkins' description of the reader as a voyeur, as it does feel like you're reading intimate details of a real couples' love life. The letters set out events that have happened to the characters, but mostly talk at great length about Chris' thoughts, and even her very explicit sexual fantasies. The writing format made this quite a hard book to read, particularly as the letters become increasingly long-winded, and they even include essays about subjects including culture, philosophy and even schizophrenia.

I could see why this book has achieved cult status, but it didn't really feel like my style of book. I think maybe it's a book that female readers could enjoy more. It's a book worth trying just for its unusual style, but don't expect it to be an easy read.

Next book: Work (Joseph Heller)
Tags: chicklit, contemporary, diary, erotica, feminist, in the media, love, modern classic, romance, unimpressed

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