Tao Lin is the David Bowie of Alt Lit. Look at that cover. It is no ordinary cover. It is an extraordinary cover. Literally hundreds of literary lepers have leaped upon this lush cover. Dazzling, beautiful in color, it is the modern day GIF cover. Other Alt groups have tried this ‘GIF as a cover’ experience to great rewards. Animal Collective did it with ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’. Hence Tao Lin is in good company with this cover that will change the game forever.
What’s inside the book? Few know. Few follow that ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. Everybody is judging the fuck out of ‘Taipei’. This is the most intense visual experience ever offered by a Tao Lin book cover. Sure he could have gone with the whole ‘hamster’ thing. Rumors suggest that there will be considerably less hamster action in this novel. In fact a large percentage of the action revolves around creatures that are not hamsters. Most of the action involves people hanging out and being best buds. A few scenes even portray something of a ‘bro down’.
Gchat remains an important part of the novel. Part of the novel in fact deals with the cover of the book. While Tao Lin talks with friends on Gchat they state how much they love the cover. Tao Lin replies with ‘Can I include this Gchat in the novel I’m going to write?’ and the say ‘Oh yeah baby give me some of that literary cred’ and he says ‘Sweet’ or ‘Good’. Yes this is a phenomenal thing. Everyone is hoping for the best for ‘Taipei’. With more money behind Tao Lin he is living the dream.
Sparkles on the cover suggest one of the main points of action in the novel. Las Vegas is important. Thanks to Las Vegas the main character gets married. Marriage is one of those great life events like learning how to cook or do laundry. When it happens no one is ready. One moment they are not married. The next moment, they are. Life is crazy that way with the whole marriage thing. Across the world people get married for all kinds of reasons.
Here’s where Beach Sloth truly appreciates the theme of the novel and of the cover. Beach Sloth has little idea on how to make anything look good. What Beach Sloth does know is marriage is sacred. When Beach Sloth proposed to his wife as he was busy putting croutons on a salad, one of those croutons contained a message. Upon his (soon to be wife) biting in the crouton she saw the message. The crouton message changed Beach Sloth’s life forever. The message said:
“Look in that box next to you. It has a diamond ring in it. I am marrying you. Please nod your head if this is okay. Hope you enjoyed eating this crouton.”
Obviously Tao Lin is a bigger romantic. Judging by his cover he’ll do well as the David Bowie of Alt Lit. For anyone with a cover like that can do Bowie-type things, like fight Spiders from Mars or whatever else Bowies are supposed to do. Anyone who believes in Tao Lin shall not be disappointed. Look at that cover. Judge his book by that cover. It is a beautiful book.