by Samuel R. Delany

Published 1975 836 pages

Last year, I read 35 books. This made me very pleased with myself, and I set a goal of reading a further 35 this year. Underpromise, overdeliver. I will probably finish 40 books in 2024, but let's not tell anyone about it, I thought. That way, it will seem impressive when I do.

It is now nearly June and I have finished two (2) books. The first one was Trilogy by Jon Fosse. The second one, as of today, is Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany.

I didn't like Dhalgren one bit. Normally I'd have a list of complaints and I wouldn't know where to start, but Dhalgren is frustratingly empty for a thousand pages. Nothing much happens: a blank-ish protagonist made up almost entirely of flimsy signifiers (e.g. only ever wearing a single shoe, donning a mysterious chain made up of prisms, going only as "Kid") bounces back and forth between a handful of setpieces in a postapocalyptic city, has sex with minors, and then describes in intimate detail where everyone's hands are. He publishes a book of poetry (which poetry is, significantly, omitted from the novel—but what it signifies is purposely left unclear) and then goes to the launch party for that book of poetry; this is the climax of the novel. Then he bounces back and forth between those setpieces a bit more, has more sex with minors, and then continues to describe what everyone is doing with their hands. Then the book ends.

A lot of people really like this book. A lot of people, but fewer, I think, really dislike this book. I really disliked it. It took me about 20 hours to get through, but at no point did it compel me to pick it back up and turn pages. There are fun ideas here, even if they don't really go anywhere—but there are maybe 60 pages' worth, not a thousand.

If you are not into this book by the time Kid arrives at the commune in the park, then it's not likely that you will ever be into it. Please abandon the book and reclaim the next six months of your life.


Florida, May 2024

Took a whirlwind trip to Florida to see family and attend my sister's engagement party. Yes it was a very good time.



Climbing the full set of stairs at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Repeatedly.