Roadwork, A Shitbird Novel by Richard Bachman

Roadwork, A Shitbird Novel by Richard Bachman
May 14, 2012 admin

Andrea: Roadwork was extremely enjoyable.
Pat: That was quick.
Andrea: I DESTROY YOU
Pat: I didn’t even start it, whoreface.
Andrea: Yes, I know. That is why i destroy you.
Pat: I’m going to shit in your pants while you’re wearing them.
Andrea:
Pat: IN RETRIBUTION

LATER:

Pat: What a shitbird novel.
Andrea: Does that mean you are done?
Pat: I was done with this book the second I started reading it.
Andrea: Are we discussing?
Pat: Yes. Discussion: if this book was a bird, what kind of bird would it be?
Andrea: Not even going to justify that.
Pat: Well, I’ll tell you: a shirtbird.

Andrea: Things I found notable:
When he said that if you showed a salesman a picture copulating with the virgin mary, he’d laugh like hell.
I have actually found most salesman to be humorless.
Pat: So then why is that notable?
Andrea: Because it’s stupid.
omg you are going to be the most pain in the ass ever about this book.
Pat: Because a picture is copulating with the Virgin Mary? How would a picture even copulate?
Andrea: He would laugh at a picture of a person copulating with the Virgin Mary.
OH! HERE IS THE NOTABLE PART: it says “Hitler copulating with the Virgin Mary.”
Apparently I only highlight the dirty parts:”He dug a moat with his fingers, spreading the west sand like a woman’s vagine.”
Pat: He didn’t write “vagine,” did he?
Andrea: No, I typoed.
Pat: There goes the one thing I would’ve liked.
Andrea: Also: “As if penis and testicle size were somehow a job prerequisite.”

Pat: It’s like he tried to rewrite Rage with an older character.
Andrea: I THOUGHT THAT TOO.
Pat: Here, help me help you: what is the fucking point of this book?
Andrea: The road. ruined. his life.
Pat: The road didn’t fucking ruin his life!
Andrea: Okay, then what did, hotshot? Mental illness?
Pat: Nothing. His kid died.
And he’s a shitbird.
And of course King throws in a hot 21 year old for him to fuck.
Andrea: What a dirty ho SK is.
Pat: Pointless mescaline trip? COME ON.
Andrea: That was stupid. Who takes mescaline?
Pat: Olivia Brenner, vagabond 21 year old wonderfuck.
And Barton George Dawes.
Andrea: I thought it was funny that he broke a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young album over his knee in the throes of a drug trip.
Pat: Why is that funny?
Andrea: Cause it is funny! If you don’t know why, I can’t explain it.
Pat: And at one point, Dawes is like, my life feels like some hack writer is writing it.
Well yeah, Dawes, one is.
Andrea: OH THAT SK, BEING SELF-AWARE.
Pat: I’m over this book. Why the hell did you like it so much?
Andrea: I don’t know! I found it enjoyable.
I thought Mary had deeper characterization than most of his female leads.
Pat: That’s not saying much. He even jokes about how her turn mimicks a crappy paperback novel at the end.
Andrea: Actualy, Mary was stupid. she just sat around waiting for him to take care of her.
My favorite part: when he and mary collect cans to buy a TV.
Pat: That wasn’t bad.
Andrea: It was very humanizing.
How about this: “Thirty’s the end of being young, forty is where you stop fooling yourself”? Discuss.
Pat: I’ll let you know in ten years
OMG THEY’RE GONNA TAKE MY HOUSE.
AND MY LAUNDROMAT.
OH GOD.
CRUEL WORLD.
Andrea: He was crippled. Emotionally.
Pat: WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL, WORLD?
There just wasn’t any good motivation for him to do what he does.
He destroys his marriage, job, and life. Why? Because they’re tearing down the house his dead kid once lived in?
Andrea: Well I think it is because he is deeply mentally ill. So there’s that.
Pat: I guess it’s about the futility of standing up against fate.
Walnut-sized brain tumors and highway extensions.
Andrea: And the shame of Southern Comfort. Since when is Southern Comfort an embarassing drink? He has to drink it in secret.
Pat: Dude, I get made fun of every time I order Southern Comfort.
Andrea: Really? What is laughable about Southern Comfort?
Pat: It’s like I’ve got a rainbow flag coming out of my zipper.

Andrea: There was a callback to “The Mangler.”
Pat: Yeah, I saw that.
Whatever.
Andrea: No, it’s interesting.
Pat: “My name’s Barton Dawes, I’m sticking it to this corporate screw in his posh downtown office! One of our laundry machines has a nickname that forebodes LIMB-EATIN’S.”
Andrea: Because this was a Bachman book.
SO that’s a major hint.
Pat: A hint that he’s King?
Andrea: Yeah.
Pat: Well.
Hold up.
Roadwork: 1981.
“The Mangler”: 1972
And it was collected in 1978.
Andrea: I TOLD YOU IT WAS INTERESTING.
Pat: “I think it was an effort to make some sense of my mother’s painful death the year before – a lingering cancer had taken her off inch by painful inch. Following this death I was left both grieving and shaken by the apparent senselessness of it all… Roadwork tries so hard to be good and find some answers to the conundrum of human pain.”
Tries? I don’t know if this book tries anything but my patience.
Andrea: Yeah, I didn’t feel any insight to human pain.
Pat: “King also described his disappointment with the work, and stated that he was of two minds about having it reprinted, but decided to in the end in order to give readers an insight into his personality at the time.”
OH HE WAS OF TWO MINDS, WAS HE? FUCK YOU, PUN-TOWN EXPRESS.

Pat: That “Stoptime” thing was fucking retarded.
Andrea: What was the stoptime thing?
Pat: Right before he goes loopy defending his house, he has this lunatic mental breakdown where he talks to Freddy in his head all fast and crazy.
Look, if he hadn’t had such reasoned conversations with Freddy all through the book, that jumble of two pages before he starts shooting would have made sense.
But no, King is like, “Let me introduce Stoptime, which, man, I don’t know, figure out what it is yourself. If anyone needs me, I’ll be removing punctuation from these four paragraphs.”
Andrea: WTF was the Fred-and-George thing? Him and his son called each other the wrong names.
Pat: Yeah, that was weird. I thought it was about his brother or something because the in media res of the first chapter is like, wtf is going on, Steve?

Andrea: The dog story the mobster tells was another high point of the book.
Pat: That’s when he parodies “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyaam.”
Andrea: I didn’t even catch that part.
Pat: Instead of “The moving hand, having writ, moves on,” he says, “Mr. Piazzi’s dog, having bitten, moves on.”
Which, I mean, he fucked that up too. It would’ve been “having bit.”
Andrea: How did you like the mob guy? Who by the way, referred to the FBI as the Effa Bee Eye
Pat: I liked him, just because he basically told Dawes he was a whackadoo.
Also, who the fuck uses “dork” as an insult? The first half of the book, I feel like he said dork every other page.
Stephen King: great at writing children, okay at writing people in their twenties and thirties, absolutely dog dick at writing old folks.
Andrea: What about his description of Norton that’s like, “blacks, soul food, chicken, and oh yeah, a pimp and a pimpmobile.”
Pat: “Oh man, blacks! Real Blackfricans! Coloreds! Do you guys get my character yet?”
Andrea: “The man who got out was a Wilt Chamberlain-size black.”
It goes on to describe his pimp outfit. I mean, do pimps really wear outrageous outfits?
You’d think they wouldn’t want to be spotted.
Pat: I don’t really spend much time with pimps.
Also, this was the 70s.
Andrea: OMG THE PIMP WEARS A COKE SPOON AROUND HIS NECK.
AS A NECKLACE.
More racist Dawes: “I like your afro.”
omg, what about when Italian guy tells Daws that he can get him an old whore to beat up?
W.T.F.
Pat: I’d like to beat up this book.

Pat: How about the cover of the book?
HIS LIFE WAS IN THE PATH OF THE WRECKING BALL… BUT HE WOULDN’T BUDGE.
Andrea: THAT. IS. AWESOME.
Pat: Nice picture, douchetingles.
Andrea: It is very 70s exploitation.
Pat: It just looks like he’s a 150 foot tall man.
Or he’s standing behind a model train set.

Andrea: Okay, so… did you tink this book had any redeeming qualities?
Pat: No. Zero.
Its redeeming quality is that it could have been longer, but wasn’t.
Andrea: I want to go on record as liking it
Pat: THIS BOOK IS A SHITBIRD.
Andrea: Is it just me or are our book chats getting shorter?
Is it indicative of laziness or the suckiness of the book?
Pat: Suckiness. Big time.
We chatted up Firestarter like whoa, and that book was like 75% shitbird.
Andrea: Was this your least favorite so far?
Pat: I believe so. I didn’t really hate anything else.
Although I was shocked at how lame Night Shift was.
Andrea: So you actually hated this.
Pat: I don’t know if I care enough to hate it.

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