420 Blaze it up like Merlin! That is what I would say if I was at all into drug-wizard culture(1), which I am not, but the book is. The book is also into a general hipsterism and cool-struggle(2), and sexing many people causally(3), and New York(4), all of which I'm also not into. So the book starts off with a lot of strikes against it, and initially I bounced off the thing after ~30 pages. However! After returning to it and reading further, I started to like the book more and more. Part of it is that the initial stories are some of the poorer ones, with the best ones being further on in. Part of it is also that the narrator grew on me, with his apathy and confused morality and crab like way of moving through the world. The stories are bite sized, which I like, and they rely more on deception and surprise, which I also like. The magic was neat (in particular some of the Outsider or Infernal zones), the writing was well written, and even the flawed stories have 2 or 3 interesting things going on in them. It is a testament to the author's skill that I ended up liking the thing despite not liking most of its constituent parts. :) I would love to see more writing from him, after he's matured a bit and moved out of New York.
- visual novels are my anti-drug
- distracts from the important things in life, see (1)
- missionary for purpose of procreation, as God intended
- the general formula is: (A) I am good/correct (B) I am paying enormous amounts of money to live in a rat-infested closet in NY -> therefore there must be something special and ineffable about this closet since otherwise (A) would be violated. This formula is then carried out millions of times, resulting in all the bullshit about NY that gets written.