October 28, 2004

Interior Desecrations, by James Lileks

Lileks' previous book, The Gallery of Regrettable Food, nearly caused me to disgrace myself in a public bookstore. When I heard that Lileks' next book (an examination of the most egregious interior design of the 1970's) was available, I made for the closest bookstore eftsoons and right speedily.

And I brought it home, and read it, and laughed far too much, according to Jane. So later on we sat down together and leafed through it, and we both laughed too much.

Lileks' basic shtick, if you're not familiar with it, is to take day-to-day images from past decades and ask, "What were they thinking?" A lot of fun comes in the way he answers that question. You can see it at work on his website; dig down until you find the Gallery of Regrettable Food pages for a sample.

Anyway, he's in fine form here, and I'd honestly like to quote large swaths of the text to you. It wouldn't be fair to do that, though, so I'll settle for descriptions of three living rooms:

If you had a persistent rash, this would be a good room; you'd look right at home.

Said of a room where the couch, the wallpaper, and the drapes all have the same extremely busy pattern: Surrounded and outgunned, the lamp and the pillow held out as long as they could.

Said of a room where everything was done in Bright Primary Colors: This room was designed for a blind blues singer, so that he could hear the furniture.

I'll probably be giving away at least one copy of this book sometime in December.

Posted by Will Duquette at October 28, 2004 07:21 PM

Lars Walker said:

I've been waiting eagerly for this one. Living in Minnesota, under the grim shadow of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, it's wonderful to know we have at least one healthy voice in our state -- James Lileks.

Oh yes, and Michael J. Nelson too.

Will Duquette said:

Michael J. Nelson?

Craig Clarke said:

Mystery Science Theater 3000, among other things.

Ian Hamet said:

Mike Nelson was head writer of MST3K for nearly all of its life, and the lead actor for, I think, the last 6 years. Funny, funny guy.

He and Lileks have lunched together, and the day I read that on the Bleat, I just about died for wanting to hear a recording of the conversation.

Will Duquette said:

Oh.