Where is the one place you can find dolphins clubbing humans to death, bears who throw smoke bombs, clinically depressed hamsters, and Elijah Wood all coexisting not so peacefully together? The answer is in Tao Lin’s latest novel to date, Eeeee Eee Eeee. The title, refering to the sounds dolphins make while attempting to interact with humans is one that is suitable for the bizarre ride this novel will take the reader for.
The plot follows the protagonist, Andrew, a confused twenty-three year old college graduate and Domino’s Pizza deliverer as he endeavors to cope with severe depression, the general rules of society and consumerism, resisting the sudden urges to go on a massive killing spree, and the loss of a love he cannot seem to leave behind. As depressing as the premise sounds, it, nevertheless, makes for a humorous read as nothing in this novel can be taken seriously, and it’s little over two-hundred pages are packed with a perfect mixture of clever metaphor, bitter irony, and absolute nonsense. This novel is, in a word, ridiculous.
Tao Lin is able to take the most ordinary and mundane instances of life and twist them into something extraordinary and new, if not exactly sensible. Although he receives criticism for his unconventional style, which he exercises simultaneously with breaking all the rules of writing, Lin knows exactly what he is doing, and he does it well. His numerous literary awards as well as the publications of bed, an anthology of short stories, as well as multiple poetry anthologies are a testimony to his competence as an upcoming writer, despite his young age of twenty-five.
In short, Eeeee Eee Eeee won’t teach the reader anything worthwhile about life, but its trippy, nonsensical imagery and abstract concepts will either leave the reader salivating for more or never wanting to look at a hamster, especially if that hamster happens to be depressed, again.