That was my sentiment when I got to the end of Lynn Crosbie’s novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night.
There are two reasons why.
First, I was oddly fascinated. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain returned to life. An unstable fan. The ultimate in sex, drugs and music. Breakups and makeups. Breakups and makeups. Breakups and makeups. What would become of these two? The way I felt about this world was similar to how I feel about Heather O’Neill’s works (see here and here): turned off but entranced.
Second, I barely understood a word. The text was so poetic, and so drug-fueled, and so seemingly haphazard it was as if I were reading the novel in French—sure, I got the gist as I glossed over page after page, but I certainly wasn’t catching the nuances. But perhaps, being narrated by addicts, that was the point.
It also took me quite a while to figure out that the Cobain (aka Celine Black) character was often simply called “he,” even if grammatically the “he” in that sentence should have been referring to someone else. But an accurate reflection of how our minds—especially obsessed minds—work.
It was a brave adventure, one that only an experienced writer like Crosbie could pull off. If I wrote something that cryptic, I’m sure it’d never find a publisher.
As with a French novel, I have a feeling the more times I read it the more I’ll understand—so do plan to tackle it again in the future.
But I doubt I’ll ever understand it all.
Have you read it? What did you think?