Manual Pleasant Hell

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This is especially true when he turns to the two topics most dear to this period he describes: the beautiful and stifling amber vistas of California, and the inscrutable hippie girls he fawns helplessly after to comically tragic effect. There is no happy ending here: just an agonizing and oddly entertaining account of the author's realization of his position in the pecking order. A tiring protracted scream out the window of a boring suburban house, immediately absorbing into the picturesque indifference of Northern California. Jun 09, Rob rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir , literature , going-slightly-mad , read-in He or at least his narrator in this thinly disquised memoir knows the things familiar to anyone who's been lonely for a long time -- the way you start to think of yourself as a multitude, the careful lengths taken to avoid social contact, the obsession over the little social contact you do have, and the all-consuming hatred, towards both you and the outside world, that grows inside your guts like a fungus.

Without revealing too many embarassing personal details, Dolan hits all of this right on the money in this tale of the only guy unable to get laid in California in the 60s. John could be compared to a character like Ignatius Reilly, but he feels so much more real and visceral. Pleasant Hell is a must-read, an anti-bildungsroman that manages to be bitterly hilarious and yet strangely touching.

Mar 27, Aaron Arnold rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography , read-in Pleasant Hell was really good, one of the most psychologically acute books about the Love Generation's preterites written. If you've read something like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao then I would say this is similar in that their protagonists are both completely obtuse dorks, but Dolan's writing style is way better.

Not only is he really good at finding clever metaphors so much so that it was noticeable - he's one of those writers where you find yourself pausing at the end of paragraphs Pleasant Hell was really good, one of the most psychologically acute books about the Love Generation's preterites written. Not only is he really good at finding clever metaphors so much so that it was noticeable - he's one of those writers where you find yourself pausing at the end of paragraphs to go "hmm, that's a clever way of putting things" , but this was much more unflinching, with the honesty to admit that ultimately there's nothing noble about being a total loser, even if it did give him an interesting perspective on the world.

He grew up in the Bay Area when it was at its peak in the late 60s and early 70s, the most artistically creative and influential part of the whole country, and he ruefully admits that he simply wasn't cool enough for it, and suffered through the kind of lovingly described inner turmoil only true nerds can summon. I thought it was a great look at a side of that scene you don't often see - not everyone was in a psychedelic rock band and scoring drugs like they were scoring women, and what was life like for those preterite losers?

He makes the miserable pathos of his nerdhood come alive, hilariously dissecting his own failures with work, women, and the world around him with a sharp eye for all of the minor nuances around him, and a way of summing up people in a few words that you don't find very often. In particular his way of describing his own adolescent fantasies of power and revenge manages to be both funny and disturbing and pathetic and somehow almost lovable. May 21, Carlos Hughes rated it it was amazing. John Dolan, an Irish American raised in the hot desert sun seemed to be a man who was born in the wrong place if not the wrong time.

Dolan was at the epicentre of the The 'Flower Pow 'There aint no justice' An apt saying when one sees the adulation Karl Ove Knausgaard receives for books that are nowhere near a patch on the magnificent 'Pleasant Hell' by John Dolan, about the trials and tribulations of a swotty nerd, growing up in a San Francisco commuter suburb in the late 's to early 's. Dolan was at the epicentre of the The 'Flower Power' movement, which was in full force and Dolan was in love with the hippy girls, who, if they cared to admit it or not, were top of the tree in the hierarchy of the food chain, picking out their less than savoury counterparts instead of Dolan, this book is submerged in beautiful, humourous pathos, as the battle for social acceptance trundles from school, into university and into the world of work, his story of a night shift security guard being one of the many laugh out loud moments of the book.

The story has a happy ending, Dolan escaped the Pleasant Hell that entraps so many and went onto live a life more interesting and more rewarding than most of his contemporaries could ever dream of.

Devout Religious Heckler Finds Gateway to Hell in Mt. Pleasant

But the fact remains that John Dolan just made a bad Californian, he would have made a far better Mancunian, Glaswegian or Sydneysider - however, if he had been born Norwegian - no-one would have heard of Karl Ove Knausgaard today. Nov 03, John rated it liked it. Dolan is a gifted essayist and idiosyncratic literary critic whose mordant humor makes his articles a joy to read. He doesn't sustain that level of quality over the length of this entire "novel" really a memoir , but the reader will find plenty of moments to remember.

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The young Dolan of the s is a loser, but by no stretch of the imagination is he a lovable one, and Dolan is at pains to make himself clear on that point: in fact, while he doesn't say so in so many words, the very point of thi Dolan is a gifted essayist and idiosyncratic literary critic whose mordant humor makes his articles a joy to read. The young Dolan of the s is a loser, but by no stretch of the imagination is he a lovable one, and Dolan is at pains to make himself clear on that point: in fact, while he doesn't say so in so many words, the very point of this "novel" is that the "lovable loser" is a lie, and doesn't exist in real life.

Nov 15, Todd N rated it it was amazing. Jan 31, Adam McPhee rated it it was amazing Shelves: the-exile , favourites , americana , re-read-soon. This book is extraordinarily important to me.

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Aug 11, Anton rated it it was amazing. Nerd-lit par excellence. Also: the autobiography disguised as novel.

Nerds don't exist in popular culture like this. They are goofy but lovable. Geeky but cute. Good-looking but wear glasses. Are socially inept but get the girl. John is none of these things. John is painful to read about. This is cringe literature. Fun and frustrating to read. Also one of the most mesmerising novels I have ever read and the greatest tragedy is how tiny the number of people who will read this novel is going to be Nerd-lit par excellence.

Also one of the most mesmerising novels I have ever read and the greatest tragedy is how tiny the number of people who will read this novel is going to be.

Pleasant Hell by John Dolan | | Booktopia

Pleasant, the fools were trying to bring Satan onto this plane. Look: Block is an amazing thing. The entire Greek community bands together, united equally in our Connect with us. Upon his arrival, though, Rodgers found that the entryway to Hell was right here in Michigan. Eternity is an unexplicable and a particular punishment of the Damned.

Three Conclusions drawn from the foregoing Chapters.

What is the Fuel of Eternal Fire. Why one Mortal Sin is punished with Eternal Torment. An Abridgement and Conclusion of what was treated before. The first Torment is Darkness. The seventh Torment is the company and place. All Digital Collections. Add to bookbag.


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A pleasant and profitable treatise of Hell. SECT 3.