Hey so I totally get that the novel is dead and American literature is spiraling down the twin drains of bad taste and anti-intellectualism but shut up for a minute and read this book.
Padgett Powell’s You & Me isn’t even really a novel, I don’t think—don’t let that dumb Gary Shteyngart blurb on the cover fool you. STOP COMPLAINING. You are going to love it. It’s just two old drunk guys on a porch shooting the shit. That’s all. You will not have to read anything describing the scenery in minute detail. No sir.
Also there’s nothing in it about heroes overcoming challenges, characters coming to terms with things, or three-generation families haunted by their own Byzantine histories. Instead it’s funny, boozy, dirty one-liners and witty anecdotes. Okay? Promise. No, it’s not like a Beckett play. Well kinda. Beckett by way of Appalachia.
Just read it. It’ll take you all of an afternoon, it’s that short and spirited. You will feel a lot better about the state of the universe afterward. Or at least care less. Seriously, I’ll lend you my copy. Here, open your hands and take it. Plus I’ve got an extra bookmark, use that. Don’t make this difficult.