What makes this book stand out from similar stories told a zillion times is how entranced and entangled you become with the small cast of characters. You CARE about these people and what happens to them, so a meandering plot that never really goes anywhere can be overlooked, perhaps?
If you dig the characters then it's definitely going to be a page turner for you. The sparse prose really moves things along.
Unhappy things do happen and it's not going to raise your spirits, I'll tell you that. It is, however, a uniquely bizarre story about trying to make it in New York City. A poor man's Holden Caulfield you might say.
An interesting book and a fast read. The lists alone make it worth reading!
We first hear about the worst breakups and how they have affected his life. Ending up owning a record store in NYC, we hear about past jobs. Fired for asking for a raise (which he was pushed into by a girl he had the hots for while living with someone else); co-managing a porn theater - these are jobs held by people walking on the seamier side of life. Don't worry - he finally gets it and grows up! You really do start to care about the characters and want them to be happy.
Maybe it's because I've never been to New York or because I am almost 40, but I didn't get any of the "humour" that was supposed to be in this book. I kept waiting to laugh and never did. It's an interesting story though and I can see how it might even be close to a memoir ... I did have a difficult time putting it down as well. I wouldn't say that I loved it, but I didn't hate it either.
I liked this book. I thought the writing was intelligent and witty. I wouldn't call it a humorous story, though. It does make me have more appreciation for how easily a person can slip into a bad place and find it hard to slip out of.