This spring there is a new slacker film and a new slacker novel. The library has got the book, Flatscreen, but you will have to wait for the film, Jeff Who Lives at Home, to be released on dvd. The library has other slacker films and novels, and most of them are considered to be humorous works. What's so funny about slackers? Sometimes it takes people longer to figure things out. Sometimes they encounter a world that doesn't really fit, or they have a hard time grasping the world as it is. Not because they're lazy, just because it doesn't make sense with their value system. Or they want something more than what's available for them. Of course, if it's someone you care about, you worry what their future will be like, and hate to see them waste their talents. When it's a character in a book or film, you can just enjoy the story.
Adam Wilson's Flatscreen, an unconventional coming-of-age story, is about a college dropout named Eli. None of Eli's relationships with non-family members go beyond superficial. Even his family members are kept at arm's length. Eli longs for what all twenty-somethings long for—a sense of belonging, to be loved, but at the moment, films and TV life provide a bigger context for what is going on in his life.
More slacker novels:
Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein
Autobiographical novel about moving back home after graduation, told in the voice of Esther – who, like her author, is a former acting student. Esther languishes in her parents' home, rereading books from her childhood, hoping to contract a chronic illness that will exempt her from life.
Grab onto Me Tightly As If I Knew the Way by Bryan Charles
Set in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1992, Charles wonderfully captures the moment when slacking became part of our culture.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Hornby's narrator is an early-thirtysomething English guy who runs a London record store. He sells albums recorded the old-fashioned way--on vinyl--and is having a tough time making other transitions as well, specifically adulthood.
Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
Lewis Miner works as a dishwasher in his father's catering business and makes his life's mission to write extremely candid letters to the alumni newsletter.
Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
Vladimir Girshkin, a likeable Russian immigrant, searches for love, a decent job, and a credible self-identity, avoiding his suburban parents and their desire that he pursue the almighty dollar as proof of success.