What I Don’t Know About Tao Lin’s Third Novel

May. 23, 2012
Dave Schilling is Associate News Editor for VICE. His work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Hipster Runoff ...

Some details have emerged about the upcoming third novel from Tao Lin. I’m sure I’m not alone in my excitement over this first snippet of information. I was a big fan of Richard Yates and Bed, and even had a small part in a movie version of Shoplifting from American Apparel, which may or may not actually be released. The film is being held up because I accidentally spilled a beer on the negative. It was dark, and I’d obviously been drinking. Plus, someone left a bunch of marbles on the floor of the editing room. It happens. Don’t blame me, though. Blame the booze, and the marbles. Who even has marbles these days? Get an iPhone if you’re bored, man.

Fortunately, the beer completely missed the section of the movie that I’m in. In lieu of releasing Shoplifting, you can look forward to the captivating short film, Dave Schilling Says Four Words Awkwardly. I think you’ll find it very captivating.

Anyway, I can’t wait for the book to come out. According to the description of Mr. Matthew Donahoo on the Vice website, the book is a thinly veiled portrayal of the last couple years of Tao’s life, in particular, his marriage to Megan Boyle. I’m glad that Mr. Donahoo didn’t go into too much detail about the book, as I hate being spoiled. As a matter of fact, I locked myself in a closet for six weeks prior to The Avengers coming out. I packed plenty of food and a flashlight, so it wasn’t that bad. Also, it allowed me to pinpoint what pieces of clothing really needed dry cleaning. The Avengers didn’t end up being very good, but I got all my suits pressed and my apartment doesn’t smell like cigarettes anymore.

Now that I’ve left the closet and quit smoking, I’m ready to read Tao’s new book. Sadly, it doesn’t come out for a while. So, in lieu of reading the book, I’ve decided to wildly speculate on what will and won’t be in the novel when it hits Borders… I mean Amazon.com/ eBay/ Craigslist/ your local library, unless it’s closed on that day because of budget cutbacks.

Animals will talk.

It’s way past time for Tao to dabble in the talking animal genre. Critters that speak have been very successful for the makers of the Alvin & The Chipmunks series. Also, if you have seen Yogi Bear, you’ll know how striking it is to see a creature without the gift of voice uttering complex English phrases. Tao’s protagonist is going to have a cuddly hamster named ‘Poof’ who dispenses life advice. He encourages Tao to stop taking Xanax, write about happy people and move to Jersey.

The book will be titled Monster Mash.

I think Tao’s favorite holiday is Halloween. Who doesn’t love dressing up like their favorite monster and having many cocktails without judgment? As such, Monster Mash, the novel, will contain many references to Halloween and Universal’s classic monsters (the Mummy, Dracula, Wolfman and the Creature from the Black Lagoon), but also the term ‘Monster Mash’ will refer to the metaphorical monster inside all of us. Also, the Megan Boyle character will eat a ton of candy corn throughout the narrative.

There will be an elaborate car chase.

Tao was paid $50,000 for this book, so that means it needs to sell a ton of copies. I assembled a team of high school dropouts to tell me what would shake them out of their literary apathy and convince them to buy an actual book with words in it. Almost every person responded with ‘a sweet car chase.’ The results of this very scientific poll led me to believe that there will be a taut, tense car chase in the middle of the book. I’m not sure what the protagonist will be running from, but it will either be ‘the police,’ ‘himself’ or ‘general ennui.’

The book will be over 300 pages.

Real books for grown-ups are over 300 pages. How do I know that? Ummm… the Bible is over 300 pages. Duh.

Marie Calloway will be renamed ‘Sally Forth.’

Obviously, real names cannot be used in this roman a clef. Instead of famous actors, Tao has decided to use obscure comic strip characters for his pseudonyms. For instance, Jordan Castro is to be referred to as ‘Beetle Bailey’ and Mallory Whitten will be renamed ‘Cathy.’

I will read this book a ton.

I’m legitimately excited for this book. Please buy it legally when it comes out. Also, please see my short film, Dave Schilling Says Four Words Awkwardly. I’m crossing my fingers for Sundance 2013. TC mark

image – Tao Lin
Dave Schilling

Dave Schilling

Dave Schilling is Associate News Editor for VICE. His work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Hipster Runoff …

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