I feel like a jerk for being surprised that such a young writer could do what Tao Lin does. The beginnings of the stories in Bed make me feel like I am an ant being picked up and dropped in a swimming pool in New Jersey. The middles and ends of the stories in Bed make me feel like I am an ant not quite dying for some reason, in a swimming pool in New Jersey, hearing muzak being piped in from underwater speakers. They are all slightly different from one another. They are all good.
After reading this book I felt like I wanted to be really nice to people. Tao Lin writes in a way that is descriptive but doesn't place any significance or emphasis on anything. He writes about lonely and depressed people who have been rejected from society which normal people would add drama to to make their story seem "heartwrenching" but Lin instead treats loneliness and isolation as "everyday facts of life" just as how it is a commonly accepted fact that there are some people born with brown hair and so..
I encountered Tao Lin's writing at a time in my life when I was very much predisposed to like it: Eeeee Eee Eeee (as I contemplating quitting an unfulfilling job as an attorney), Shoplifting from American Apparel (in the immediate aftermath of leaving that position and breaking up with my girlfriend) and, finally, Bed (several weeks into my unemployment and bachelorhood). The untethered, wary, existential aspects of his fiction, also knowing that it was being drawn in large parts from the author's life, ap..