Books Jul 13, 2011 at 4:00 am

Lisa Wells Thinks Young Urbanites Are Doing Everything Wrong

Is there a target on her ass? Jaclyn Campanaro


This sounds like the worst, most pretentious book I've read about since The Kindly Ones. "Having survived an exchange of millennia, a few plastic wars, and a series of ecological holocausts, we've arrived: Portland's lattice of gentrified streets before us." That's a gorgeous sentence? That's like starting a prog album with pan-pipes and a grave voice intoning: Once, a mage walked on the sands of time..." Bloated and unintentionally hilarious.

I have a serious question for you. You're a smart person. You're extremely well read. Yet so often of the time you review this hipster garbage. Do you actually this shit? Or is it the demo of the stranger that it makes business sense? In any given year there are at least 20 amazing non-fiction books that took years of patient research and read like thrillers (like Hellhound on my Trail or Nixonland for example). These books receive far, far less press than they deserve because they're lumped into the category of historical non-fiction. I wish you would cover more books like that.
Hey Hosono. Back the fuck off on Wells.
Hosono, read the book before you bitch, rant, and or, for everyones sake, Blog or post anything. Your post sounds like the dipshit hipster that you apparently think you're better than. BTW - typo- "Do you actually this shit?" Your post makes me want to read 'Yeah, No, Totally' more than ever. Maybe I should say thanks, skinny jeans.
I would never read this trash. What a unfathomable waste of time. I learned my lesson on that front flipping through a Ryan Boudinot book book once. In the same way that I don't need to see the new Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill to know that it sucks, I don't need to read this shit. I get the regional focus. Some very good writers live in this region--Heather McHugh, Tim Egan etc. Lisa Wells and Ryan Boudinot are not good writers, in the same way that connected, network grinding musicians in the PNW are usually lackadaisical dipshits who can barely play their instruments. Great, you're part of a scene, don't bitch when people hold their noses at the putrid waft of condescension and pretension coming off your excerpts. Oh and sorry for the typo, but yeah, hold the 30 seconds it took my to write some blog comment to the standard of a published book. I don't begrudge Wells for wanting to write, lots of people do it, it's very therapeutic I guess. It's just irritating that week after week Constant covers this nonsense. At least last week the great eccentric Doug Nufer got some props.
I'm not going to make any judgments on the book as a whole, but I've got to go along with Hosono: That first sentence shouldn't win any prizes.
Thank you Paul. The reason I like your column is because you highlight books like this rather than the books Hosono mentioned.
Hosono: I try as hard as I can to cover a bunch of different writers and styles of books. Almost every time I write about any one type of book—Sarah Palin's memoir, for example, which I covered because everyone was talking about it and it's good to make the book section part of the larger conversation from time to time—I get people in the comments telling me I only review that kind of book.

I'm not complaining (really, I'm not; I learn a lot from comments) but I would advise you to wait until next week and see what gets covered then. Seems like you have a bias toward non-fiction. A lot of people do. And a lot of people don't. I'm trying to cover a broad range, here, because there aren't enough outlets in Seattle that cover books. But I can tell you right now that the section is not always going to be to your liking.

This is an interesting if imperfect debut from a voice that I think will resonate with a lot of readers. (And lucienspringer@5: I didn't quote that sentence just for its craft, but rather for its sweeping audacity. Some of the other sentences in the review are better proof of her craft.) If it doesn't resonate with you, I'll probably cover two other books this month that will resonate with you. I think that's the best I can hope for, honestly. (For instance: Have you read Scott Miller's The President and the Assassin yet? He's a local guy, and it's really excellent historical writing about a time in American history that doesn't get enough attention.)

I don't know. It's a balancing act, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. That's pretty much all I can say.
Free ship pings? Com petitive pricing? This is a book review with a whole lot more!

Hey Paul Constant! You're thoughtful and wonderful! Thanks for your reply in the comments.
I can't wait to read this book. I unfortunately live in Portland... the problem with "parody, facsimile, reminiscent of" is that it lacks passion. No one gives a shit about anything, and is "excited" only about nonsense and meaninglessness... and even then not because they are actually excited but because of the social validation they receive.
This book sounds terrible. And you sound like you didn't like it very much.
@santababy you do have a point, but I disagree that no one cares other than social validation. I think that largely applies to whom Wells covers in the book and while I did not entirely agree with it she does have some points. Witnessed by those up in arms about it. To close to home?
@ santababy, you have a point. I too live in portland and i choose not to associate with people of that ilk because I do care, and I am not concerned with social validation, especially from them. The book did have some interesting points. There are a lot of sheep here. There are a lot of image/trend people (ok, hipsters if you want to use that word) I prefer not to lump everyone together but there are a lot of self entitled vacuous transplants here. Take the good with the bad and broaden your horizons. They are not the only residents
I think you forgot to link to the book.

Here's the link:…
I think you forgot to link to the book.

Here's the link:
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Whoa. I feel like I wandered into a room full of English majors on the second day of a bad speed run.
So much emotion over a book. I think some people need to understand that there are, in fact, actually important things going on in this world and a first publication of an independent publishing house by an heretofore unknown author is not one of them. Get over yourselves and continue masturbating with Fitzgerald and Hemmingway. I've got important things to do.
Thank god new and unpolished authors are finding a place to still be published.
"bayonet training in which would-be soldiers stab dummies while the sergeant screams, 'What makes the grass grow?' And everyone screams back, 'Blood! Blood! Blood!'"

Yeah, that's not her turn of phrase. Ever heard of Full Metal Jacket? Some dude named Kubrick?
"That's like starting a prog album with pan-pipes and a grave voice intoning: Once, a mage walked on the sands of time..."

That sentence made me burst out laughing, in public.

Think I'll skip this book.
DAMN! Sea Otter beat me to the punch, I was going to make that EXACT SAME GODDAMN POST! Fuck you Sea Otter for thinking exactly like me but quicker.
Lisa wells escort is beautiful !

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