Nicotine PDF/EPUB Þ Hardcover

Nicotine PDF/EPUB Þ Hardcover


10 thoughts on “Nicotine

  1. karen karen says:

    It's not her gender that's underrepresented It's her species Like a dog at a party for birds or a hip hopper at a party for Pagan bisexualsthat uote sums up my reaction to this book in a nutshell i'm a dog at this bird party not understanding why everyone's have a good time i don't necessarily need to relate to characters in order to enjoy a book; to see myself represented but i do need them to interest me and none of these characters interested me in the least; either as individuals or when they are broken down into their affiliated groups hippie healersshamans with their psychotropic drugs and nudity capitalistic children of those hippies consumed with laying claim to things money people real estate the right to success pompous millennial suatters with their causes and rigorous commitment to representing every niche group conceivable i just didn't get this book in a way this reminded me a lot of Purity there's the obvious similarity in the plot of a young millennial y woman making her way in the world with her fairly aimless idealism suatting with people who see themselves as effecting important social changes drifting into different beds and many instances of women who are otherwise self assured and successful being drawn to douchebag men who treat them like shit and like Purity there were scenes that made me feel icky grown man interrupted mid coitus by a naked 12 year old girl that leads to anger salted playful nude wrestling the removal of a young kogi girl from her poverty by a white man 40 years her senior who later marries her the single minded attempts to seduce a man claiming to be asexual that get into rape y territory view spoiler and the fact that he's not actually asexual just in poor health is also kind of icky in that see you can change your sexuality by making better decisions way hide spoiler


  2. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Maybe women go for your dick because your mouth is full of tobaccoI kinda wonder about a female author who grew up in rural Virginia now lives near Berlin Germanyand writes sentences like the above excerptThis is my first experience reading Nell Zink The New York Times review was given to me by a friend when I was gifted this hardcopy book Much of their review I completely agree with But my first thoughts about this book was why in the hell would I read this? I don't smoke I think the book cover is kinda cool but really??? Nicotine???Here's a part of what the New York Times wrote I agree and couldn't say it better if I triedNell Zink is a deadpan comedian her sentences funny yet plump with existential dread Her new one is called Nicotine and like her previous books it's a mess anarchic in its plot machinations scrambled in its themes mostly shallow in its emotions You want her novels to be so much finer than they are They're like meals someone fussed over but forgot to put in the oven I haven't read previous books but agree that this book is a mess BUT I ALSO agree with this next part of the New York TimesThe strange thing is that you're never tempted to put Ms Zink's novels aside They contain so much backspin and topspin that you're alert by the leaping motion So plot doesn't seem to be especially important in this novel It's shallow it's funny it's sexy and Nell Zink is talented in an odd way So here is a little about this 'story' Yes haha there 'is' a story Penny Baker is the most conventional member of her weird family Their lifestyle was chewing coca That's all they did munched it like goats but that was just the men Women cooked and cleaned between totemic clans That's when Penny's mother blew out of there When her mother Amalia met her dad a Jewish shamanistiche was working on building up his clinic for indigenous herbal therapies in Manaus in Brazil on the With her dad's jungle vine people would trip their brains out heals nothing but would puke like there was no tomorrow Basically he was jump starting people's immune system called ayahuasca He would purge people much like chemo Her dad's specialty was cancer patients Penny's parents met in Cartagena Her mother made it from the Kogi countryfrom the coast and her dad found her mother taking care of pigs at the dumpAmalia was only 13 years old at the time about the same age as Penny's brother Patrick The father much older took Penny's mother in because she was homeless Amalia then fell in love with her dad and her dad made Amalia wait five years which pissed her off perhaps a little like Soon Yi Previn By the time Penny is born skipping ahead about 20 years the family is living hippie style in a commune on the Hudson River The year is present day 2016 When Penny's father Norm dies at age 85 he died a slow death and it was Penny that was at his side daily she is unemployedand unmoored by his deathshe decides to move into his childhood home in New Jersey and fix it up To her surprise a group of friendly anarchist suatters are living in the home which they have named Nicotine united in defense of smokers rights People walk around fuckedup on illegal drugs on prescription drugs on anything they want nobody cares But smoke a cigarette and you're on everybody's shit list You're a baby killer Same baby who second on a nipple full of phthalates eatingantibiotic chicken breathing PCB's playing in dirt made of tetraethyl lead and drinking straight vodka while it rides a fucking skateboard when that baby dies at age 86 instead of 90 it's going to be because you lit a cigarette in a public park OUCH Point is the smokers are sick and tired of being ostracized for smoking There 'are' characters who believe in second hand smoke as a hazard to ones health but they are closet smokers Penny doesn't have the heart to kick the smoking residence out of her dads house She moves into a nearby residence and then becomes involved with the smoking community at the Nicotine house The rest of her family her mother and half brother want to evict the suatters The way this story comes to and end a surprise is very satisfyingThe characters and dialogue are what kept me reading this book Penny falls for Rob the asexual man who lives in the houseMatt her older half brother designs garbage trucksSmoking jokes sex crass and uirkyThis is a social satire which was actually 'wacky enjoyable' than I thought it was going to be


  3. Marie Marie says:

    “She wills her body to be eually wraithlike Not sodden not heavy not dead but filled with crackling electric life like a stale Marlboro on fire”Nell Zink’s “Nicotine” is a social satire on a grand scale It invokes and satirizes the philosophies of shamanism pragmatism and anarchy It begins with Amalia at age 13 being “adopted” by Norm from a garbage heap in Cartagena Columbia From there the novel flash forwards to Amalia’s daughter Penny at age 12 at her father’s psychadelic healing center Her mother is now “married” to Norm and Penny has two older half brothers who happen to be older than her motherWhen Penny’s father falls ill and is on hospice Penny is the primary caregiver It is said by many of the Shamanist followers at the funeral services that Penny always had that spiritual connection like NormUpon her father’s death Penny now in her 20s a recent business school grad thinks she will take over his childhood home which is inhabited by suatters anarchists that are united by their love of nicotine Hence the the name “Nicotine” for the house they have suatted There are many houses in this area of New Jersey being suatted by millennials Penny falls in love with one of the suatters who happens to be asexual and decides to live amongst them Her brother Matt decides he will kick out the suatters and he too falls in love with one of the suattersAmalia Penny's mother initially declares her love for Matt Penny's half brother which is not returned However this brings up uestions as to what happened between them when they were younger Could Matt be Penny’s father? Amalia too goes to try to kick out the suatters and falls in love with one of themMatt is a huge sociopath and gets what he deserves when he lands in a huge amount of shit Everyone and everything gets confused and turned on its head “Nicotine” becomes the “Norman Baker Center” bringing together the Norman Baker followers and millennials alikeThis one was tough for me to connect to I appreciated the social satire and the brilliance of the author but honestly did not feel too much for the characters It felt like all of the ideas were thrown together in a slurry and the result was interesting and at times amusing but just did not seem as polished as it could have beenThank you to net galley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest reviewFor discussion uestions please see


  4. Warwick Warwick says:

    Although I did not love Nicotine reading some of the negative reviews it's received makes me feel instantly defensive because I do think it's a much cleverer and better written book than its detractors are giving it credit for Set in a series of New Jersey suats with a cast of anarchists shamanic healers and assorted polyamorous fuck ups Nicotine may well depend for its impact on readers on their predispositions towards millennials and the current trends of ‘youth culture’ Zink's steer on how we should feel about her characters is subtle – everything is done through conversation and internal dialogue – and conseuently many people seem to be finding it hard to place the toneI loved the tone most of all though I'd describe it as one of affectionate scepticism – she sympathises with these people they are never mocked or ridiculed; but at the same time it's clear at least I think so that we are often being invited to laugh at the absurdities of their lifestyle Often this sends the book in directions that are diametrically opposed to current ideas of correctness An asexual character for instance ends up ‘converted’ by the right partner and confesses that his identity was only a cover for his concerns about his penis size I imagine if you're actually asexual this twist would really piss you off Then again what do I know – maybe this kind of poseurism is a big problem in the asexual community Presumably they don't have much else to get worked up aboutMore obviously parodic is a scene where our protagonist Penny visits a potluck at a radical feminist suat only to find that everyone else there is trans Her friend just shrugs ‘Hey I miss women feminists too’She drifts along the buffet looking at the food sneaking glances at the people Between the peach fuzz and the push up bras it reminds her of junior high People seem uneasy and a little bit too excited about their new and unfamiliar bodies She hears the sound of maternal instincts being vigorously applied to cats on the Internet Another conversation pitched deeper revolves around grants available to emerging filmmakers It all seems rather gender polarized    She searches in vain for her favorite feminine gender tomboy    To the extent that she can pull it off her gender is babe But at Stayfree her babe outfit long hair big shirt leggings flats makes her feel like an interloper—like some rude woman born woman intent on boycotting femininity because she can take it for granted The girly girls on hand have spared no pains They are as polished as knights in armor bodies pierced coiffed tattooed shoehorned into heels and dresses The manly men are gruff and earnest in word and deed She's the only babe in sight She lacks an audience It's not her gender that's underrepresented It's her species Like a dog at a party for birds or a hip hopper at a party for Pagan bisexualsThe book's title is a clue to this strain of bloody mindedness or whatever they call it in American English in Zink's approach And yet despite it all her concerns are not really political that's just window dressing and motivated much by amusement than by anger The subject of the novel is interpersonal rather than political relationships – the uestions of why people are attracted to other people of whether those who detach themselves from social conventions find it easier or harder to forge meaningful connections with friends lovers family membersProbably there are novels in existence by actual anarchist authors but this isn't one This is not insider literature It's a novel that gets involved but that always observes its characters from a slight distance Think for instance of the difference between William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac If you don't have any interest in these characters then you probably won't care for Nicotine however interesting its prose style just as many people feel about KerouacPersonally I love this point of view and having chosen at various times in the past to live with a British Army deserter a Vietnam vet and a Colombian money launderer I strongly relate to the desire to be close to people whom on some level I find bizarre or incomprehensible – to be close to them and to keep a pen and paper handyThe dialogue in here is razor sharp and very lightly done It reminded me a lot of Thomas Pynchon and it wasn't the only thing – the guilty sexual relationship between a young hippy chick and a sadistic capitalist is a paranoid fantasy pairing straight out of one of Pynchon's novels What I did miss a little though was that sense of fun that was so powerful in The Wallcreeper Here Zink is taking herself a little seriously and although her writing can be as snappy as ever I felt a little nostalgic for that naked enjoyment that was on show in her debut


  5. Amanda Amanda says:

    35 starsWell that was odd This is a strange book with an eccentric cast of characters It starts out weird and just keeps getting weirder It was hard to related to but at the same time there was something about it that I really liked I was strangely drawn to these misfits in a way I can't uite put my finger on I read this well into the night because I was curious what was going to happen I often don't like the ending in books like this but I thought this one was satisfying and well done This is not a book I would have picked on my own It was a BotM choice a few months ago and I considered it then but passed then it showed up on the Tournament of Books longlist so I decided to give it a try It's probably not for everyone but I found it to be a fun fast read


  6. Rachel León Rachel León says:

    This novel is a bit uirky which I typically like But there seems to be something lacking here I think the characters are difficult to connect with and the plot is a bit flat I don't need a dynamic plot but I need the characters to go through of an emotional journey than these characters did I'm glad I read this novel but it's not one I'd recommend That said I'm interested in checking out Zink's other books because I did enjoy her writing


  7. Kristin Kristin says:

    I loved the beginning The story of Norm dying and Penny's grief had me hooked I was so excited for this book Then the tone completely changed when she got to Nicotine I'm going to be frank here and maybe I'm just not trendyworldlyhipstery enough to understand this book but uite honestly I had no clue what the f the characters were talking about half the time I found this book to be very annoying A lot of reviews are saying people would've enjoyed this better if they were younger I'm 26 and I was irritated by these characters the entire time It's a shame too because this novel started out SO GOOD


  8. Jessica Sullivan Jessica Sullivan says:

    I'm not even sure where to start with this one It's definitely one of the weirder books I've read lately filled with a truly eccentric cast of charactersPenny is an aimless young college graduate coming to terms with her father's recent death Her family is what you would call non traditional to put it lightly Her mother is a former member of a South American tribe and her much older father gained fame operating a psychedelic healing center near that same region Oh yeah and her mother actually started out as her father's adopted daughter when he rescued her when she was just 13Yeah it's like that Penny also has two much older half brothers one of whom Matt is a selfish sociopath As you can imagine all of this comes to a head when Penny's father dies and they're left trying to determine who has the rights to his possessionsPenny recently evicted from her NYC apartment agrees to fix up her father's rundown old childhood home in New Jersey But when she arrives she finds that it's occupied by a group of anarchist suatters united by their status as smokers None of the other anarchists in the community will house themPenny uickly befriends this odd group and falls in love with one of its members an ostensibly asexual man named Rob And with Matt intent on reclaiming the house from the suatters and gentrifying the area Penny finds herself trying to prevent this from happeningIt really is a weird book Beneath all the strangeness and the aimless pseudo plot lies the real meat of the book Penny's grief over her father's death her need to uncover some of her family's craziest secrets and her journey toward finding her place in the worldIt's definitely interesting and original and I'm glad to have read it but I didn't love it Zink is clearly a brilliant writer yet I often thought that her prose was too purposely opaue It's simultaneously clever and profound zany and irreverent and while I appreciate this combination I found that in this case it kept the smart points that she was trying to make always just a little too far out of reach


  9. Rabeea Rabeea says:

    This is a book about finding order in chaos accepting idiosyncrasies of individuals and making peace with your family both biological and fraternalPenny is the strait lacedodd one out in her completely unorthodox atypical family She has managed to dodge their eccentricities until her dad a hippie healer read drug dealer who treats terminally ill older patient diesShe becomes the sole heir to his childhood house which she soon realizes has been abandoned for long enough to be turned into a frat house slash community center by suatters They have rechristened the house Nicotine The house is inhabited by uirky individuals with unconventional names like Sorry and Jazz She soon acclimates to their whacky lifestyle which serves as a handy distraction from her recent bereavement Penny's crush on an asexual guy Rob who lives at Nicotine sets in motion a crazy chain of events including bizarre liaisons between Penny's roommate her brother and her mother no that was not a typo Nicotine started out as an offbeat funny story about a dysfunctional family that unravels into an account of living life off the grid with uirky activists debauchery and residents' madcap episodes thrown in for good measureI enjoyed it although it did lose steam in the latter half A uick entertaining read I wish it had a 'showdon't tell' approach which would have given the prose of an edgeThanks to 4th Estate and Edelweiss for providing me an advance proof copy


  10. Amy Keyishian Amy Keyishian says:

    While I was reading this book I merely thought it was sloppily written and lazily edited My example was this shit 'A police car just pulled up' she said looking up to see a police car pulling up I thought that was as bad as it got But when I got to the end I realized it's really really fucking stupid Stupid is actually the best it could be If the author is not stupid then she's outstandingly cynical and cruel and fucking with the segment of her audience that reads sappy romantic shit and thinks it's how relationships are supposed to work At one point early in the book the main character Penny puzzles over her family's blasé reaction to her father's death by reasoning that they are all sociopaths At the risk of overstating it I feel like the author is the one who's a sociopath The ending of this book will seem romantic and fulfilling to many while those of us who've been in this kind of destructive relationship see clearly what's going to happen The author however seems to be either deliberately obtuse or cruelly manipulative I guess if you loved Gone Girl and you hate women you'd love this book So there's that


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Nicotine ✅ [PDF / Epub] ☉ Nicotine By Nell Zink ⚣ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk The author of Mislaid returns with a fierce and audaciously funny novel of families—both the ones we’re born into and the ones we create—a story of obsession idealism and ownership centered arou The author of Mislaid returns with a fierce and audaciously funny novel of families—both the ones we’re born into and the ones we create—a story of obsession idealism and ownership centered around a young woman who inherits her bohemian late father's childhood homeRecent business school graduate Penny Baker has rebelled against her family her whole life—by being the conventional one Her mother Amalia was a member of a South American tribe called the Kogi; her much older father Norm long ago attained cult like deity status among a certain cohort of aging hippies while operating a psychedelic “healing center” And she’s never felt particularly close to her much older half brothers from Norm’s previous marriage—one wickedly charming and obscenely rich but mostly just wicked one a photographer on a distant tropical islandBut all that changes when her father dies and Penny inherits his childhood home in New Jersey She goes to investigate the property and finds it not overgrown and abandoned but rather occupied by a group of friendly anarchist suatters whom she finds unexpectedly charming and who have renamed the property “Nicotine” The Nicotine residents united in defense of smokers’ rights possess the type of passion and fervor Penny feels she’s desperately lacking and the other suatter houses in the neighborhood provide a sense of community she has never felt before She soon moves into a nearby residence becoming enmeshed in the political fervor and commitment of her fellow suattersAs the Baker family’s lives begin to converge around the fate of the house now called Nicotine Penny grows ever bolder and desperate to protect it—and its residents—until a fateful night when a reckless confrontation between her old family and her new one changes everythingNell Zink exuisitely captures the clash between Baby Boomer idealism and Millennial pragmatism between the have nots and want s in a riotous yet tender novel that brilliantly encapsulates our time.

  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Nicotine
  • Nell Zink
  • English
  • 11 October 2015
  • 9780062441706

About the Author: Nell Zink

Born in California in Nell Zink was raised in rural Virginia a setting she draws on in her second novel Mislaid She attended Stuart Hall School and the College of William and Mary In while living in West Philadelphia Zink founded a zine called Animal Review which ran until Zink has worked as a secretary at Colgate Palmolive and as a technical writer in Tel Aviv She moved to.


10 thoughts on “Nicotine

  1. karen karen says:

    It's not her gender that's underrepresented It's her species Like a dog at a party for birds or a hip hopper at a party for Pagan bisexualsthat uote sums up my reaction to this book in a nutshell i'm a dog at this bird party not understanding why everyone's have a good time i don't necessarily need to relate to characters in order to enjoy a book; to see myself represented but i do need them to interest me and none of these characters interested me in the least; either as individuals or when they are broken down into their affiliated groups hippie healersshamans with their psychotropic drugs and nudity capitalistic children of those hippies consumed with laying claim to things money people real estate the right to success pompous millennial suatters with their causes and rigorous commitment to representing every niche group conceivable i just didn't get this book in a way this reminded me a lot of Purity there's the obvious similarity in the plot of a young millennial y woman making her way in the world with her fairly aimless idealism suatting with people who see themselves as effecting important social changes drifting into different beds and many instances of women who are otherwise self assured and successful being drawn to douchebag men who treat them like shit and like Purity there were scenes that made me feel icky grown man interrupted mid coitus by a naked 12 year old girl that leads to anger salted playful nude wrestling the removal of a young kogi girl from her poverty by a white man 40 years her senior who later marries her the single minded attempts to seduce a man claiming to be asexual that get into rape y territory view spoiler and the fact that he's not actually asexual just in poor health is also kind of icky in that see you can change your sexuality by making better decisions way hide spoiler

  2. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Maybe women go for your dick because your mouth is full of tobaccoI kinda wonder about a female author who grew up in rural Virginia now lives near Berlin Germanyand writes sentences like the above excerptThis is my first experience reading Nell Zink The New York Times review was given to me by a friend when I was gifted this hardcopy book Much of their review I completely agree with But my first thoughts about this book was why in the hell would I read this? I don't smoke I think the book cover is kinda cool but really??? Nicotine???Here's a part of what the New York Times wrote I agree and couldn't say it better if I triedNell Zink is a deadpan comedian her sentences funny yet plump with existential dread Her new one is called Nicotine and like her previous books it's a mess anarchic in its plot machinations scrambled in its themes mostly shallow in its emotions You want her novels to be so much finer than they are They're like meals someone fussed over but forgot to put in the oven I haven't read previous books but agree that this book is a mess BUT I ALSO agree with this next part of the New York TimesThe strange thing is that you're never tempted to put Ms Zink's novels aside They contain so much backspin and topspin that you're alert by the leaping motion So plot doesn't seem to be especially important in this novel It's shallow it's funny it's sexy and Nell Zink is talented in an odd way So here is a little about this 'story' Yes haha there 'is' a story Penny Baker is the most conventional member of her weird family Their lifestyle was chewing coca That's all they did munched it like goats but that was just the men Women cooked and cleaned between totemic clans That's when Penny's mother blew out of there When her mother Amalia met her dad a Jewish shamanistiche was working on building up his clinic for indigenous herbal therapies in Manaus in Brazil on the With her dad's jungle vine people would trip their brains out heals nothing but would puke like there was no tomorrow Basically he was jump starting people's immune system called ayahuasca He would purge people much like chemo Her dad's specialty was cancer patients Penny's parents met in Cartagena Her mother made it from the Kogi countryfrom the coast and her dad found her mother taking care of pigs at the dumpAmalia was only 13 years old at the time about the same age as Penny's brother Patrick The father much older took Penny's mother in because she was homeless Amalia then fell in love with her dad and her dad made Amalia wait five years which pissed her off perhaps a little like Soon Yi Previn By the time Penny is born skipping ahead about 20 years the family is living hippie style in a commune on the Hudson River The year is present day 2016 When Penny's father Norm dies at age 85 he died a slow death and it was Penny that was at his side daily she is unemployedand unmoored by his deathshe decides to move into his childhood home in New Jersey and fix it up To her surprise a group of friendly anarchist suatters are living in the home which they have named Nicotine united in defense of smokers rights People walk around fuckedup on illegal drugs on prescription drugs on anything they want nobody cares But smoke a cigarette and you're on everybody's shit list You're a baby killer Same baby who second on a nipple full of phthalates eatingantibiotic chicken breathing PCB's playing in dirt made of tetraethyl lead and drinking straight vodka while it rides a fucking skateboard when that baby dies at age 86 instead of 90 it's going to be because you lit a cigarette in a public park OUCH Point is the smokers are sick and tired of being ostracized for smoking There 'are' characters who believe in second hand smoke as a hazard to ones health but they are closet smokers Penny doesn't have the heart to kick the smoking residence out of her dads house She moves into a nearby residence and then becomes involved with the smoking community at the Nicotine house The rest of her family her mother and half brother want to evict the suatters The way this story comes to and end a surprise is very satisfyingThe characters and dialogue are what kept me reading this book Penny falls for Rob the asexual man who lives in the houseMatt her older half brother designs garbage trucksSmoking jokes sex crass and uirkyThis is a social satire which was actually 'wacky enjoyable' than I thought it was going to be

  3. Marie Marie says:

    “She wills her body to be eually wraithlike Not sodden not heavy not dead but filled with crackling electric life like a stale Marlboro on fire”Nell Zink’s “Nicotine” is a social satire on a grand scale It invokes and satirizes the philosophies of shamanism pragmatism and anarchy It begins with Amalia at age 13 being “adopted” by Norm from a garbage heap in Cartagena Columbia From there the novel flash forwards to Amalia’s daughter Penny at age 12 at her father’s psychadelic healing center Her mother is now “married” to Norm and Penny has two older half brothers who happen to be older than her motherWhen Penny’s father falls ill and is on hospice Penny is the primary caregiver It is said by many of the Shamanist followers at the funeral services that Penny always had that spiritual connection like NormUpon her father’s death Penny now in her 20s a recent business school grad thinks she will take over his childhood home which is inhabited by suatters anarchists that are united by their love of nicotine Hence the the name “Nicotine” for the house they have suatted There are many houses in this area of New Jersey being suatted by millennials Penny falls in love with one of the suatters who happens to be asexual and decides to live amongst them Her brother Matt decides he will kick out the suatters and he too falls in love with one of the suattersAmalia Penny's mother initially declares her love for Matt Penny's half brother which is not returned However this brings up uestions as to what happened between them when they were younger Could Matt be Penny’s father? Amalia too goes to try to kick out the suatters and falls in love with one of themMatt is a huge sociopath and gets what he deserves when he lands in a huge amount of shit Everyone and everything gets confused and turned on its head “Nicotine” becomes the “Norman Baker Center” bringing together the Norman Baker followers and millennials alikeThis one was tough for me to connect to I appreciated the social satire and the brilliance of the author but honestly did not feel too much for the characters It felt like all of the ideas were thrown together in a slurry and the result was interesting and at times amusing but just did not seem as polished as it could have beenThank you to net galley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest reviewFor discussion uestions please see

  4. Warwick Warwick says:

    Although I did not love Nicotine reading some of the negative reviews it's received makes me feel instantly defensive because I do think it's a much cleverer and better written book than its detractors are giving it credit for Set in a series of New Jersey suats with a cast of anarchists shamanic healers and assorted polyamorous fuck ups Nicotine may well depend for its impact on readers on their predispositions towards millennials and the current trends of ‘youth culture’ Zink's steer on how we should feel about her characters is subtle – everything is done through conversation and internal dialogue – and conseuently many people seem to be finding it hard to place the toneI loved the tone most of all though I'd describe it as one of affectionate scepticism – she sympathises with these people they are never mocked or ridiculed; but at the same time it's clear at least I think so that we are often being invited to laugh at the absurdities of their lifestyle Often this sends the book in directions that are diametrically opposed to current ideas of correctness An asexual character for instance ends up ‘converted’ by the right partner and confesses that his identity was only a cover for his concerns about his penis size I imagine if you're actually asexual this twist would really piss you off Then again what do I know – maybe this kind of poseurism is a big problem in the asexual community Presumably they don't have much else to get worked up aboutMore obviously parodic is a scene where our protagonist Penny visits a potluck at a radical feminist suat only to find that everyone else there is trans Her friend just shrugs ‘Hey I miss women feminists too’She drifts along the buffet looking at the food sneaking glances at the people Between the peach fuzz and the push up bras it reminds her of junior high People seem uneasy and a little bit too excited about their new and unfamiliar bodies She hears the sound of maternal instincts being vigorously applied to cats on the Internet Another conversation pitched deeper revolves around grants available to emerging filmmakers It all seems rather gender polarized    She searches in vain for her favorite feminine gender tomboy    To the extent that she can pull it off her gender is babe But at Stayfree her babe outfit long hair big shirt leggings flats makes her feel like an interloper—like some rude woman born woman intent on boycotting femininity because she can take it for granted The girly girls on hand have spared no pains They are as polished as knights in armor bodies pierced coiffed tattooed shoehorned into heels and dresses The manly men are gruff and earnest in word and deed She's the only babe in sight She lacks an audience It's not her gender that's underrepresented It's her species Like a dog at a party for birds or a hip hopper at a party for Pagan bisexualsThe book's title is a clue to this strain of bloody mindedness or whatever they call it in American English in Zink's approach And yet despite it all her concerns are not really political that's just window dressing and motivated much by amusement than by anger The subject of the novel is interpersonal rather than political relationships – the uestions of why people are attracted to other people of whether those who detach themselves from social conventions find it easier or harder to forge meaningful connections with friends lovers family membersProbably there are novels in existence by actual anarchist authors but this isn't one This is not insider literature It's a novel that gets involved but that always observes its characters from a slight distance Think for instance of the difference between William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac If you don't have any interest in these characters then you probably won't care for Nicotine however interesting its prose style just as many people feel about KerouacPersonally I love this point of view and having chosen at various times in the past to live with a British Army deserter a Vietnam vet and a Colombian money launderer I strongly relate to the desire to be close to people whom on some level I find bizarre or incomprehensible – to be close to them and to keep a pen and paper handyThe dialogue in here is razor sharp and very lightly done It reminded me a lot of Thomas Pynchon and it wasn't the only thing – the guilty sexual relationship between a young hippy chick and a sadistic capitalist is a paranoid fantasy pairing straight out of one of Pynchon's novels What I did miss a little though was that sense of fun that was so powerful in The Wallcreeper Here Zink is taking herself a little seriously and although her writing can be as snappy as ever I felt a little nostalgic for that naked enjoyment that was on show in her debut

  5. Amanda Amanda says:

    35 starsWell that was odd This is a strange book with an eccentric cast of characters It starts out weird and just keeps getting weirder It was hard to related to but at the same time there was something about it that I really liked I was strangely drawn to these misfits in a way I can't uite put my finger on I read this well into the night because I was curious what was going to happen I often don't like the ending in books like this but I thought this one was satisfying and well done This is not a book I would have picked on my own It was a BotM choice a few months ago and I considered it then but passed then it showed up on the Tournament of Books longlist so I decided to give it a try It's probably not for everyone but I found it to be a fun fast read

  6. Rachel León Rachel León says:

    This novel is a bit uirky which I typically like But there seems to be something lacking here I think the characters are difficult to connect with and the plot is a bit flat I don't need a dynamic plot but I need the characters to go through of an emotional journey than these characters did I'm glad I read this novel but it's not one I'd recommend That said I'm interested in checking out Zink's other books because I did enjoy her writing

  7. Kristin Kristin says:

    I loved the beginning The story of Norm dying and Penny's grief had me hooked I was so excited for this book Then the tone completely changed when she got to Nicotine I'm going to be frank here and maybe I'm just not trendyworldlyhipstery enough to understand this book but uite honestly I had no clue what the f the characters were talking about half the time I found this book to be very annoying A lot of reviews are saying people would've enjoyed this better if they were younger I'm 26 and I was irritated by these characters the entire time It's a shame too because this novel started out SO GOOD

  8. Jessica Sullivan Jessica Sullivan says:

    I'm not even sure where to start with this one It's definitely one of the weirder books I've read lately filled with a truly eccentric cast of charactersPenny is an aimless young college graduate coming to terms with her father's recent death Her family is what you would call non traditional to put it lightly Her mother is a former member of a South American tribe and her much older father gained fame operating a psychedelic healing center near that same region Oh yeah and her mother actually started out as her father's adopted daughter when he rescued her when she was just 13Yeah it's like that Penny also has two much older half brothers one of whom Matt is a selfish sociopath As you can imagine all of this comes to a head when Penny's father dies and they're left trying to determine who has the rights to his possessionsPenny recently evicted from her NYC apartment agrees to fix up her father's rundown old childhood home in New Jersey But when she arrives she finds that it's occupied by a group of anarchist suatters united by their status as smokers None of the other anarchists in the community will house themPenny uickly befriends this odd group and falls in love with one of its members an ostensibly asexual man named Rob And with Matt intent on reclaiming the house from the suatters and gentrifying the area Penny finds herself trying to prevent this from happeningIt really is a weird book Beneath all the strangeness and the aimless pseudo plot lies the real meat of the book Penny's grief over her father's death her need to uncover some of her family's craziest secrets and her journey toward finding her place in the worldIt's definitely interesting and original and I'm glad to have read it but I didn't love it Zink is clearly a brilliant writer yet I often thought that her prose was too purposely opaue It's simultaneously clever and profound zany and irreverent and while I appreciate this combination I found that in this case it kept the smart points that she was trying to make always just a little too far out of reach

  9. Rabeea Rabeea says:

    This is a book about finding order in chaos accepting idiosyncrasies of individuals and making peace with your family both biological and fraternalPenny is the strait lacedodd one out in her completely unorthodox atypical family She has managed to dodge their eccentricities until her dad a hippie healer read drug dealer who treats terminally ill older patient diesShe becomes the sole heir to his childhood house which she soon realizes has been abandoned for long enough to be turned into a frat house slash community center by suatters They have rechristened the house Nicotine The house is inhabited by uirky individuals with unconventional names like Sorry and Jazz She soon acclimates to their whacky lifestyle which serves as a handy distraction from her recent bereavement Penny's crush on an asexual guy Rob who lives at Nicotine sets in motion a crazy chain of events including bizarre liaisons between Penny's roommate her brother and her mother no that was not a typo Nicotine started out as an offbeat funny story about a dysfunctional family that unravels into an account of living life off the grid with uirky activists debauchery and residents' madcap episodes thrown in for good measureI enjoyed it although it did lose steam in the latter half A uick entertaining read I wish it had a 'showdon't tell' approach which would have given the prose of an edgeThanks to 4th Estate and Edelweiss for providing me an advance proof copy

  10. Amy Keyishian Amy Keyishian says:

    While I was reading this book I merely thought it was sloppily written and lazily edited My example was this shit 'A police car just pulled up' she said looking up to see a police car pulling up I thought that was as bad as it got But when I got to the end I realized it's really really fucking stupid Stupid is actually the best it could be If the author is not stupid then she's outstandingly cynical and cruel and fucking with the segment of her audience that reads sappy romantic shit and thinks it's how relationships are supposed to work At one point early in the book the main character Penny puzzles over her family's blasé reaction to her father's death by reasoning that they are all sociopaths At the risk of overstating it I feel like the author is the one who's a sociopath The ending of this book will seem romantic and fulfilling to many while those of us who've been in this kind of destructive relationship see clearly what's going to happen The author however seems to be either deliberately obtuse or cruelly manipulative I guess if you loved Gone Girl and you hate women you'd love this book So there's that

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