Supermarket: The Novel to End All Novels (Or So Logic Hopes)”

I just got done with the novel written by Logic, the rapper, or Bobby Hall, entitled Supermarket. I have to say — it retained my interest for the whole way. It’s written in a very clear, simple style (like a novel written by a rapper would theoretically be), there’s a lot of plot content, violence, sexuality, psychosis and break room lockers involved in the book’s events, right from an early stage. 

Generally, psychosis is an overbearing focal point of the book. The main character, Flynn, who is also the narrator, is working on a book that’s based in a supermarket (all inside of the book Supermarket, yes), but his prospective publication is entitled “Muldoon’s,” which is the name of the grocery store where the Flynn character works, in the book Supermarket. If this doesn’t drive Dole’s stock up, I don’t know what would. 

Anyway, at a certain point, this whole thing begins to play as a vendetta against the very concept of creativity, you might say. Hall even blatantly infuses his character, Flynn, with this insipid, outright habit of assigning real life people around him to characters in his book, and letting their behavior blankly construct the functionality of his “fictional” characters he’s “creating,” to use murky terms, at best. The crux of the plot, then, is a character named Frank, an imaginary friend of Flynn’s conceived by the latter as a fictional character, but who has become real in the mind of the first-person narrator, like a schizophrenic hallucination. The message seems clear: beware, creative people! You might be in danger of becoming a psychotic, provided you’re as big of a douche bag fu**up with as little self-control or depth as this a**hole in this novel!

Well, for anyone who’s read Supermarket, I’ll leave out the incredibly obtuse, arduous second-half plot where Flynn finds himself in an insane asylum (and I love the hot girl law grad sustaining their relationship the whole time and even being an accessory to his escape). It’s really a pretty quick, easy read, and I have to admit, it is entertaining, the way, like Maxim or Playboy are, or any other enterprise wherein the objective is to be as much of a brainless imp as possible and act like nothing has any value if it’s not quick, ostentatious and full of sexuality or violence. Supermarket is plot-driven to the point of complete buffoonery, replete with events of Flynn punching the store manager in the face an hour before getting a job there, and the mind-bogglingly lame narrative explosion, regarding this bimbo, lap-dog-like girlfriend Mia, “How could I leave out that we had sex?” So the instance of sex is thrown in there like a left-brain “legitimacy” sandbag, like a cheap attempt at infusing the plot with enough quantifiable, mundane fluff so as to legitimize the project. It’s ok, though, because this horrifyingly stupid reference to “sex,” in which Hall describes the girls’ breast size and their foreplay but not the look in her eyes, or face, or contrasts of these things with the erstwhile, or whether they were considering children, fits in perfectly with his choice of music, on “vinyl,” of course. This includes The Strokes’ Is This it, which happens to be an album that was recorded digitially on Pro Tools, hence offering no vinyl advantage, and particularly the song “Someday” (during the ascent of their relationship), a song which features the lines “You say you wanna stay by my side / Darlin’ your head’s not right / You see alone we stand / Together we all apart / Hey / I think I’ll be alright”. 

I mean, I get that Hall doesn’t really care about people that much. He wanted to write a book and make it full of enough gratuitous, asinine violence for it to scare you a little, and he wanted to illustrate how, at least in his simpleton (likely jealous) head, developing fictional characters in your head can lead to psychosis, and even ruin your life. This is ironic, in fact, as I personally find the mental development of characters in my own head to be a pretty healthy practice — certainly fun, if nothing else. When things shoot back to me, they’re mammalian, not ideal, like my characters are. Granted, I haven’t taken too much acid, like the average mainstream rapper who thinks it’s really funny to have a person punch a manager in the face and then get a job in that same place by this same sad-sack piece of sh** who got attacked. It’s a shame that, given the infrastructural discouragement of creativity and literature, this will probably be Logic’s last novel (has he retired from life itself yet), because with a little more maturity and life experience he could perhaps match his narrative tenacity and knack for lurid dialogue with the realization that we all go through the same sh**, and everybody’s got something to say, and to add, to the general discussion. Until then, I guess we get this “nerd” character, and this “protagonist” with whom I just can’t sympathize or identify, not because of his foul deeds or his psychosis, but because he never even becomes real to me, in any way, in the first place. 


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