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Book Review: Aimless, By Jeremy Glass

January 9, 2014

Jeremy Glass is a stand up guy. He’s a contributor here at Portable (you may remember his scathing critique of Scarlett Johansson’s massive hands, or his bad drawings of beautiful actresses), and his work can be found all over the internet — on Thought Catalog,Nerve, and even the New York Times.

I have a strange relationship with Jeremy. I met him once, in a basement apartment  in the summer of 2011. We watched some old movie, made a few jokes about how small my feet are, and parted ways. Later, we discovered that we’re both writers, and, more specifically, internet writers. We struck up an email correspondence in which we shared weird stories from our summer and our lives. We became pen pals.

Jeremy’s e-book is a collection of short stories, and it feels not unlike those emails we exchanged. This is a very sincere compliment: Jeremy just talks to you. He writes in an almost stream-of-consciousness style, reminiscent of Philip Roth. His stories are about a young man who is maybe him and maybe someone else, and he evokes real emotion in these pages.

My favorite story is the titular one: “Aimless” follows our young man on a direction-less day in New York City. He walks around, goes to a department store, and meets up with a girl. They drink vodka and milk, and fall asleep. Later, he eats a pizza with his roommate.

Jeremy’s telling of this day — this sort of quietly hopeless day — is perfectly pitched and fully felt.

The rest of the stories vary. Some are similar to “Aimless,” and some take on other characters with different kinds of lives. A few stretch to let in supernatural elements, which fit well. In “Alan Samples,” the protagonist imagines the weird inner-life of his co-worker. “The Amateur Art of Time Travel” is a strange little slice of a marriage. “Chocolate-Covered Life” is purely autobiographical, the story of Jeremy’s parents and the bakery they owned. All of the stories share a tone and an outlook, making the collection feel genuine and intentional.

This e-book only costs $3.99. So, buy it.

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