—From 1996, yet another English class essay built from stolen bits of Roger Ebert’s wisdom. (GA)
—From 1997, another high school essay in which the author leads with a quote from the film critic Roger Ebert. What follows, unfortunately, possesses none of Ebert’s grace, intelligence, or populist lyricism. (GA)
—From 1996, an eleventh-grade essay on Bram Stoker’s Dracula in which the author, amidst his senseless semantic grandiosity, chooses smartly to quote the great film critic Roger Ebert (never senseless or grandiose), who passed away today at the age of 70. (GA)
—Character notes from an unknown project, 1999. Note the careful attention paid to the sociopath’s physical appearance: “strong, ripped, works out.” Is this psycho killer (“a writer”) an aspirational cypher for Young himself? Or is this a glimpse into the author’s monoclinous desires? (GA)
Like a lovelorn schoolboy with a pet falcon on his shoulder and vintage Coronet midget camera around his neck, the influence of Wes Anderson is present in every frame of Safety Not Guaranteed.
— From the author’s recent review of the film Safety Not Guaranteed, in which, ironically, he is guilty of the very same crime he spends three overwritten paragraphs excoriating director Colin Treverrow for. Specifically: an attempt to mimic Wes Anderson’s self-satisfied pretensions. (GA)
—The first draft of Young’s second unpublished novel, from the summer of 2003. In a rare moment of clarity, the author has made an annotation at the bottom of the page, referring to the manuscript as “crapdraft”. (GA)
Why should species matter? Are other birds less susceptible to modern pandemic strains? Why is ethnicity a factor in my hesitation? I don’t why it would be different if it were a robin or sparrow that had crippled itself in front of me; I just know that it is.
—Excerpt from a strange piece of creative non-fiction composed mid-2005, the genesis of which appears to have been an incident involving an injured pigeon. Such white liberal moral expostulation is actually a grand and laughable act of self-congratulation, and is made worse, in this particular case, by the author’s deific rhetorical mode. (GA)
—Story notes for a novel begun and abandoned in the spring of 2002, in which the author reduces a thousand years of classical narrative structure into a diagram from an IKEA instruction pamphlet. (GA)
There is no act as strangely isolating as riding a bus; like accepting the charity of public transportation is an admittance of defeat, something to be ashamed of.
—Written in the spring of 2005, this fragment from an abandoned piece of fiction entitled, enigmatically, “The Bus to V-Town,” reveals the author’s detestable imperiousness. (GA)
—Positively dripping with the embryonic penetralia of a newly-hatched amoure-propre, this excerpt from a 1992 autobiography is rife with Young’s unique brand of deceptively chaste self-glorification (GA).
—From Death Down Under (1991), the author’s first completed novel. Yet more evidence of Young’s prodigious self-importance and his inability to follow through on promises; after two decades Death up Above, Death Down Below, and Death in the Middle remain unwritten. (GA)
One day the girls in the class
decided to throw a great big bash
They were going to have it at Laurie’s house
until she found out she had one louse
She screamed and screamed until the following day
and still the louse wouldn’t go away
Since Laurie was gone and almost dead
they decided to have it at Jenny’s instead
Except there was a problem her brother Jason
who wanted to watch a movie about Perry Mason
—Poem composed in 1988. Here, at the age of nine, the tropes common to Young’s work have already begun to manifest themselves. Most notably, his approach to literature as an act of ingratiation (clearly this poem was written to impress the girls referenced within, who were, according to sources, the most popular girls in the class). (GA)
The kid sat across from Garrity and stared him straight in the eye. He was twelve, maybe thirteen, stuck in the negative zone between childhood and adolescence where the first stirrings of antipathy are born. The kid was almost there; Garrity could see it in his eyes: building up his confidence with these minor offenses, bearing the listless reprimands that came when he was caught, building up his courage to do something truly remarkable, like steal a car, or deal some drugs. It happened early like that. The kid was young, but Garrity saw his future laid out in distinct iterations, like the panels of a comic strip. Garrity came from the city. Garrity had seen this kind of thing before.
—The opening lines of the unfinished novel Night of the Wolf (composed in 2008). Having apparently grown as tired of his ponderous literary exertions as the rest of us, Young began, in earnest, this Stephen King-inspired novel-length project about a small northern town overrun by a pack of wolves. It should come as no surprise that Young abandoned this project shortly after beginning, choosing instead to return to the realm of pretentious expositional poetics in which he continues to slowly suffocate. (GA)
Novel about how people are influenced by the ideas they see, hear, and read about…similar to Cloud Atlas, but based purely in writing. Different styles: ancient Roman text, Chaucer-esque poetry, mystery novel, Updikean short story, Bret Easton Ellis-esque hedonist novel, serial killer paperback. A simple idea…basic human philosophy. “Imagination is what sets us apart from animals,” or “If you love something, let it go.
—Notes for an abandoned fiction project tentatively (one hopes) called “Wind Almanac”, from a document created in September 2008. While this paragraph constitutes the entirety of thought that Young invested into the idea, it serves as a shocking confirmation of just how consciously – and unabashedly – the author endeavors to rip off of his literary idols. (GA)
—Despite a denouement that relies a little too heavily on deus ex machina, this bit of fiction, composed at age seven, is in countless ways superior to the indulgent effluvium the author is currently producing. (GA)
Once upon a time there was a scouting trip. It contained 16 boy scouts. The oldest one was named Nick. He was always bossing everybody around. But the rest were going to give him the worst hallowe’en ever. They were going to play a couple of jokes on him and play the biggest joke at the end.