Eat When You Feel Sad

Zachary German, Author Melville House Publishing $14.95 (127p) ISBN 978-1-933633-85-5
German's debut novel follows protagonist Robert, an emaciated vegan, through the always relevant trials and tribulations of growing up. German's writing is comprised entirely of short, staccato sentences: ""Robert is riding his bike. He's wearing a sweater. There is a red light. Robert stops riding his bike."" Through this stylized writing, readers follow Robert from a suburban childhood of listening to records, smoking pot and stealing from a bookstore to his first sexual experience with girlfriend Alison (""Robert and Alison have sex. They finish having sex.""), and finally a move to a nameless city and the unavoidable struggle to find himself. Robert tries kissing guys, making carrot juice, and plenty of drinking and getting stoned, but doesn't ever find what he's searching for. The complications of life seem to fly by him with little consequence. The book has many charms, even though German's minimalist style of writing-clearly mimicking his main character's view of life-can be a bit daunting. The deadpan delivery does add humor to Robert's daily routine, and the unromanticized life of a twenty-something hipster is a refreshing change of pace from the usual way that such creatures are portrayed.
Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
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