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August 13, 2015

Book Notes - Ben Brooks "Lolito"


In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Ben Brooks' Lolito is another impressive novel from the young author.

Shelf Awareness wrote of the book:

"Lolito is reminiscent of Superbad and Youth in Revolt... Etgar is one of the most compelling teenage voices in contemporary literature, with a seemingly endless capacity for imagination and wit."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Ben Brooks's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Lolito:

Etgar, the protagonist of Lolito, is a 15-year-old boy who listens mostly to Vanessa Carlton alone while talking to a middle aged woman on the Internet. Usually, though, I only listen to instrumental music when I'm writing, otherwise the characters speak in pop punk lyrics.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Self-titled
Listening to this album makes walking around, existing, feel cinematic, and other people watch films, so it's some kind of mechanism for feeling less alone: pretending that what you're seeing and feeling will be seen and felt by other people when really, why would they care. Etgar routinely pretends life is a film and speaks in quotes.

Typhoon - "Young Fathers"
Some mums who read Lolito that said they hoped their kids weren't like Etgar was. I think their kids are probably worse. Everything is worse.

Into It. Over It. – "No Good Before Noon"
The American Academy of Pediatricians say that school for teenagers should begin no earlier than 8.30am, which still seems terrifyingly early. Various other people say that teenage circadian rhythms are delayed so that they're not really awake until 10.00am. There are studies running now of teenagers not starting school until that time, waiting to see how that impacts their exam results. Etgar skips school to stay home and lie on the sofa. During Lolito he gets drunk and sleeps during the day.

And So I Watch You From Afar – "Eunoia"/"Big Thinks Do Remarkable"
I imagine this song playing over a montage of people slowly moving closer together, in the style of a bank advert made with stock videos, then, at 2.13, they start punching each other or kissing each other or both.

Vanessa Carlton – "Nothing Where Something Used To Be"
Vanessa Carlton had a baby this year and I hope she's doing well and I like all of her songs a lot. This one is from her most recent EP. She's most famous for 1000 miles. My favourite song from her early 2000s time is Private Radio.

Spraynard – "Bench"
The outro to this song is him shouting 'I want to see you' a lot, which I think is what the two characters in Lolito say to each other most often, maybe, between sex stuff.

Ben Brooks and Lolito links:

the author's Wikipedia entry

Huffington Post UK review
Kirkus review
The List review
Metro review

Bookish interview with the author
Other People interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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