Jesse Jarnow

have you ever been to electric ladyland

Over the weekend, I lent my friend Mike a copy of Gates of Eden, a book of short stories by Ethan Coen of the Coen brothers. Each piece is like a miniature, unmade Coens’ picture. “Have You Ever Been To Electric Ladyland” (a statement, not a question, in the hands of Coen) is one of my favorites.

The opening two graphs of the story still blow my mind. In 93 words, Coen establishes a legit voice with its own phrasing, a rough sense of who is speaking, who he is interacting with, and (most importantly) a momentum, propelled by the fact that something has happened. And it all sounds, uh, Coenesque taboot, filled with awkwardly incomplete thoughts, nervous side-chatter, and an often subliminal throughline. The whole story is just masterfully timed and well worth reading.

I don’t know. I do not know. A sick fuck. A sick, twisted motherfuck, that much is obvious.

An individual name does not come to mind. I’m not saying it was a stranger. Though it could be. Senseless, random. Or not random. A stranger, but not random. Because, officer, if you have, like me, a certain renown, name in the papers, well — I don’t have to tell you that there are nuts out there. You know that better than anyone. A lot of nuts. And this, clearly — this is nut’s work.

1 Comment

  1. Justin says: - reply

    Not being a wordinista and all, I have never heard of this book. Sounds like a great read.

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