|Number of Pages||:||206 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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the nightclerk Reviews
This book is so weird. I love it. I'm surprised more people haven't embraced it as a cult novel. I see it as parody of experimental novels. It is a series of surreal vignettes about a night-clerk in a San Francisco residence hotel. The book starts in mid-sentence, and is told in a Joyce-ean Burroughs-esque fashion. Fortunately, the writer is smart and very funny. So, it is not as dull as I make it sound.
When critic-novelist Alfred Chester referred to "the Grove Press epater-le-Post-Office machine", this was the type of book he had in mind. Ostensibly about a grossly overweight night clerk at a seedy San Francisco hotel in the mid-60s, this novel rapidly spins off into a series of decadent fantasies, some erotic, some just grotesque. I lived in sleazy SF hotels in the 80s and would have thought the reality of that situation would have given Schneck plenty to work with, but he apparently preferred weird fantasy to an even weirder--and more challenging--reality, so this book is a wasted opportunity. Schneck's second novel, NOCTURNAL VAUDEVILLE, about TV and Hollywood, is in some ways better than this one, since the artificiality of the Hollywood setting suited his artistic inclinations more than the topic of down-and-outers in San Francisco.
Free book from the library, Grove Press, and man it has some interesting moments. Very of its era, mid-1960s, but some great meanderings into fantasy.