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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


Steve Aylett

general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Lint

Title: Lint
Author: Steve Aylett
Genre: Mock-biography
Written: 2005
Length: 202 pages
Availability: Lint - US
Lint - UK
Lint - Canada
  • Includes numerous illustrations, an appendix of Lint Quotations, and a Bibliography

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Our Assessment:

B : off-beat mock-biography, typical Aylett

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Village Voice . 17/3/2006 Ed Park

  From the Reviews:
  • "Printed on cheap paper, Lint has the tactile qualities of the Lintian output, the wobbly energy of a first draft. Getting miffed over this fiction might mean Aylett's doing something right (...) Reading a book about failure that is itself a failure delivers some vertiginous satisfaction. But you wouldn't want to do it twice." - Ed Park, The Village Voice

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Lint purports to be the biography of pulp science fiction cult author Jeff Lint, and it's nicely presented as such, complete with bibliography, an index, and numerous illustrations (including quite a few mock-ups of magazine and book covers). (There's also a fairly impressive official Jeff Lint site.)
       Jeff Lint isn't quite a believable character -- he makes Philip K. Dick and Ed Wood look tame by comparison -- and his work seems ... unlikely. But naturalism isn't what one expects from Aylett, and he does deliver a solid helping of his usual ultra-bizarre creations.
       There's a good deal of the familiar world here: Lint does meet and occasionally work with some well-known authors and others. He knew Kerouac and Burroughs, wrote (not very successfully) for Star Trek, and had some responsibility for the movies that became Funny Girl and Patton. But he's also a man who dressed up in women's clothing whenever he delivered a manuscript to his publisher, had an agent who he didn't realise was dead, and wrote a ton of stuff which it is hard to believe anyone could ever have bought or read.
       Much of the fun is in tracing this writing-career, Lint churning out pulp science fiction at an amazing rate. Little of it sounds promising, even in summary -- though one does get curious what some of these stories might have been like, such as his submission for Maximum Tentacles:

The latter overlapped into what today would be called the "specialty" market, promising "a tentacle in every sentence," and Lint had trouble modifying his story "The True Origin of the Magi" to fill this prescription.
       Lint's life is practically as strange and unlikely as his stories, and his real-life interactions with others are also extraordinarily odd.
       Peppered throughout are sentences from his books and comments he made, all sounding significant and yet not quite right. An appendix collects some of these Lint-quotations, such as:
Television is light filled with someone else's anxiety.
Employment is atrophy speeded up.
       Aylett's presentation (and humour) isn't so much surreal as it is off-beat -- literally, the joke coming in an unexpected place, the twist not the obvious one. The exaggeration and invention is not of the easy, predictable sort, as Aylett doesn't go for the obvious jokes, but rather beyond the absurd (though told with a straight face, the presentation otherwise realistic enough). It makes for a strange reading sensation.
       There are some inspired ideas, and the presentation is very good, but much of the book is also hit-or-miss -- with such a barrage of projectile-sentences that it can be overwhelming. Aylett's packed style -- barely a sentence goes by without an attempt at something clever, funny, or absurd -- can be a lot to take, especially when the humour is so warped (and when he seems to be more interested in making the humour warped, rather than focussing on being funny).
       Worthwhile -- Aylett remains a unique voice, and this book is unlike most anything else out there -- but not entirely satisfying.

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Lint: Reviews: Jeff Lint: Steve Aylett: Other books by Steve Aylett under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       British author Steve Aylett was born in 1967. He has written several novels.

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© 2005-2010 the complete review

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