Cat Marnell’s Book is Good 


I’m pretty late to the party on Cat Marnell. Until yesterday I had never read her columns and had only heard her name ring out within the last month. 

And that’s not because she’s unimportant. This is simply the disconnect from culture that seems to happen naturally as you edge to middle age. Marnell is a bridge between the Gen X nihilism I grew up with and whatever the kids are into these days. 

Her writing style seems like critics would get the knives out on it, and it might grate on some people, but I think it’s original and well done. Critics seem impressed. She captures the patois of the party girl and it’s unexpected oscialltions between high literature, riot grrl politics, club drug culture, and celebrity obsession. 

The last of that list is somethign Marnell handles interestingly. For her, this TMZ INTRRZONE we sleepwalk through is another mood altering substance. Another way to mainline excess. Crank your neurosystem up to the max, then pump it full of digital decadence. This is a powerful form of ephemeral dope and she nails it. 

I wonder what the person, not the character, Cat Marnell thinks about all this. I wonder if what Hunter S. Thompson said about the pressure of being Hunter S. Thompson is true for her. 

If she follows the memoir formula laid out by Mary Karr, her next book is going to probably track some sort of redemptive tale. How dreary. 

I hope she finds something new.

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