The Brandon Book Crisis

By

The Brandon Book Crisis

First Dan Baum’s Twitter missives and now this: The Brandon Book Crisis, a paperback “thriller” about book design featuring 140+ pages of unedited Gmail chats, text messages, voicemails, and emails between Brandon Scott Gorrell, Tao Lin, and others.

The book chronicles the printing of Brandon’s poetry book, During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have a Biographer Present. As section headers tick down the days before deadline, Brandon and Tao deal with fonts, layers, colors, and unworkable files. When they’re not extinguishing fires, they discuss Brandon’s personal problems: unemployment, living conditions, troublesome girlfriends.

In its review of The Brandon Book Crisis, HTML Giant writes, “What at heart I think this book is about, is not the irony we’ve cynically come to expect — from not just Muumuu House, but a generation who operate under similar auspices — but the inner-workings and insecurities of two guys who simply want their book out; well, maybe not so simply.”

Meanwhile, Edward Champion laments the book’s Outlook-esque white space aesthetic and subliminal Brokeback Mountain references. (On Page 18, there is an email containing the phrase, “chat me, i can’t chat you, internet closed.”)

Released by Tao’s Muumuu House, the print run of The Brandon Book Crisis is limited to 150 signed/numbered copies.

Excerpt from The Brandon Book Crisis

Some gems from The Brandon Book Crisis’ Glossary/Index:

GF is short for Girlfriend. 13, 32, 48, 50, 106, 132, 137, 140

Hyo Jung is the name used to make comments critical toward Muumuu House, and those associated with Muumuu House, on the website HTMLGIANT in April, 2009. In some of these comments Hyo Jung identified herself as a woman in her 30’s with a pre-teen son. Hyo Jung later claimed to be an intern under Tao Lin’s employ. 85

Jesus is a colloquialism indicating awe. 90, 137.


Steven Tagle is a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, CA. He produces short-form documentaries for Current TV, and his work has appeared in Leland Quarterly, Word Choice, and Rainy Day. He is finishing his first novel. More from this author →