Icelander, by Dustin Long. Has anybody else read this book? I recall no lit-blog or not-lit-blog buzz about it. Which shocks me, since it's a McSweeney's book, and it seems like there's always somebody somewhere loving themselves up the latest McSweeney's books. Did this slim tome fall under the mammoth shadow of The Children's Hospital? I don't know. I haven't checked the timing. I haven't done my research. I skipped the homework.
See, I was too busy last night, reading this book.
This ridiculously fun book.
True, it's of that type or genre of book I am going to call "footnote lit"--your classic case of intratextual cleverness run amok. Pale Fire, House of Leaves. The Facts of Winter, to name another McSweeney's example. Whatever: you know the stakes when you flip through its pages the first time; five seconds is all you need to decide whether you're in or out.
If you're out, you're missing a party.
If you're in, you're going to a party.
An intratextual, metatextual, Nabokov-meets-Nancy Drew* murder mystery of a party. One that takes place both on and under Iceland. One that involves objects as stories, forgery as the foremost form of artistic expression, karaoke qua heroic epic, and political plots as personal vendettas. One that realizes exactly what it is, and pays homage to the gate-keepers while gate-crashing itself.
Text in love with text.
Text that kept me up past my bedtime, dizzy, and maybe a little drunk, and certainly confused as to how I got where I'd went when I was done. Text that sort of made me want to go right out and read every book ever, immediately.
Which is to say, in short: Yay!
* - Credit due where credit's due: it was my girlfriend who voiced the Nabokov/Nancy Drew merger-comparison when I found the book on her bookshelf (the first time I'd seen or even heard of the book being during a random perusal of her bookshelves) and asked her if she'd read it and/or liked it. She had, and had. Selling point enough, even without the apt description.