Maybe women go for your dick because your mouth is full of tobacco I kinda wonder about a female author who grew up in rural Virginia now lives near Berlin Germany and writes sentences lik
"Maybe women go for your dick because your mouth is full of tobacco".....I kinda wonder about a female author who grew up in rural Virginia-- now lives near Berlin, Germany....and writes sentences like the above excerpt.This 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 tried:"Nell 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 Times:"The 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 more 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 shamanistic),he was working on building up his clinic for indigenous herbal therapies in Manaus, in Brazil on the Amazon. 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 dump.Amalia 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 unemployed...and unmoored by his death...she decides to move into his childhood home in New Jersey and fix it up. To her surprise a group of friendly anarchist squatters are living in the home which they have named "Nicotine". ( united in defense of smokers rights). "People walk around fucked/up 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 squatters. The way this story comes to and end-- a surprise --is very satisfying.The characters and dialogue are what kept me reading this book. Penny falls for Rob- the asexual man who lives in the house.....Matt her older half brother designs garbage trucks....Smoking jokes, sex, crass, and quirky....This is a social satire --which was actually more 'wacky-enjoyable' than I thought it was going to be! A viral Nicotine Author Nell Zink go inside Book From the much acclaimed author of Mislaid and The Wallcreeper, 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 home She wills her body to be equally wraithlike Not sodden, not heavy, not dead,From the much acclaimed author of Mislaid and The Wallcreeper, 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 home She wills her body to be equally wraithlike Not sodden, not heavy, not dead, but filled with crackling, electric life, like a stale Marlboro on fire Unemployed business major, Penny, has rebelled against her family her whole life by being the conventional one Her mother was a member of a South American tribe her father was a Jewish Shamanist with a psychedelic healing centre But everything changes when her father dies and Penny inherits his childhood home Left weightless and unmoored after being the only member of her family with time for her dying father, Penny then finds his property occupied by a group of squatters, united in defence of smokers rights and herself unexpectedly besotted with them, particularly Rob, the hot bicycle and tobacco activist.Totally addictive and dangerously good, Nicotine is a fiercely funny novel in which passion is politics and nonviolence is the opposite of surrender.. Born in California in 1964, 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 1993, while living in West Philadelphia, Zink founded a zine called Animal Review, which ran until 1997.Zink has worked as a secretary at Colgate Palmolive and as a technical writer in Tel Aviv She moved to Germany in May 2000, completing a PhD in Media Studies from the University of T bingen Zink has been married twice, to US citizen Benjamin Alexander Burck and to Israeli composer and poet Zohar Eitan.After 15 years writing fiction exclusively for a single pen pal, the Israeli postmodernist Avner Shats, Zink caught the attention of Jonathan Franzen The two writers began a correspondence.In early 2012, Zink sent Franzen her collected manuscripts Franzen tried unsuccessfully to interest publishers in her 1998 novel It was Franzen s agent who ultimately negotiated a six figure publishing deal for Zink s Mislaid, a novel she has described as agent bait.The Wallcreeper was published independently in the US in 2014 and named one of 100 Notable Books of 2014 by The New York Times Zink lives in Bad Belzig, Germany.. Good Books Nicotine 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 bisexuals.that quote 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 healers/shamans 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 squatters 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, squatting 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)]. but while i didn't like Purity, i at least understood what it was trying to say as a book. with this one, i think i missed the point. i'm not even sure if this is supposed to be funny or in earnest or what. to me, all the characters were annoying, and seemed like caricatures inviting the readers' scorn, but maybe it's just me finding millennials exhausting.She has curly magenta hair and wears a forties-style bathing suit of plum-colored cotton gabardine with fishnet stockings and Chuck Taylors. She looks ageless and possibly about thirty-five. "My parents wanted me to finish high school and I was like fuck you. It's indoctrination. So I ran away. That's part of why I'm committed to indigenous peoples' right to self-determination. Nobody should have their way of life dictated to them.""I joined the Navy when I was seventeen," Rufus says. "That's when I started learning about oppression.""Cool," Penny says approvingly.to me, that's the epitome of a millennial garbage-mind - an adolescent "fuck you" philosophy that views education with suspicion but feels qualified to speak for others on what should be valued. a privileged subset of humanity rejecting their privilege to pay lip service to causes affecting the disenfranchised, who would probably really appreciate that education so casually tossed away. peter pan grown-ups dressing like teenagers. but maybe that's just me. the tone is slippery - i'm not sure if we are supposed to be rooting for any of these people at all. it's not sharp enough to be a biting satire of all of these different kinds of characters, but it isn't going out of its way to make them sympathetic, either. the tone and the plot are both … wispy. nothing really happens, and when it does, the causation is unformed: people fall in love/obsession with no basis for it, they come and go and leave town and start businesses, and it seems arbitrary and motiveless. which would be fine if it was just the millennial characters, who are kind of defined by their shallow chameleoning and youth and struggles with attention-spans, but it's not. everyone's fairly impulsive and the results are frequently neither tragic nor comic, they're just … flat. i'll probably be in the minority here with this, since nell zink is one of those authors all the cool kids like, but i just didn't have any reaction to this book at all, really. which is rare, indeed.