Book Learnin’: FAT CITY


Fat City | Leonard Gardner | 1969

For a forthcoming podcast with my buddy Tom. Unlike most folks, I haven’t seen the Huston film yet (I’m so stoked to though), so I had the privilege of pure virginal contact with the original novel.

The experience is like careening down sludgy waterfalls of ambient unattributed slang-strewn dialogue only to crash against hulking concrete slabs of terse, blistery, scrap-metal prose. A pile of cast-off bricks with no mortar for construction, a sprawling junkyard of pawnable goods that no one’s gonna bother to dig out, a meditation on dead-end-ness without anything prepositional about it, not the ‘fall from’ or the ‘descent into’ or anything like that, just the plodding limbo of anti-aspiration. Taking a lap around ground zero.

Will the movie live up (or down?) to this experience? Stay tuned to Rio Bravado and our forthcoming podcast (someday, someday) for more!


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