“I’ll turn it all ugly. I’ll find a way.”
-Greg Everett, Ugly
After reading Ugly I feel like I know Greg Everett better than half the women I’ve slept with, or at least deeply understand a few moments in his life. Three years to be exact. There is no plot, the characters are not described, no families sit and drink tea and talk about clever things. Ugly is, if anything, honest.
Beyond considerations of literary technique and iambic pentameter, Ugly is the most classic old style of writing – an individual recording mostly inexplicable thoughts. You can tell that it wasn’t composed but simply written. And yeah, it’s about Greg Everett and some years of his life and drug addiction and the fucked messes that women and men make when they love or screw and it’s mostly about hurting, and you get a sense that the whole thing was written with a whole lotta stress and pain going on at the moment of its conception. And he just gives it you.
And yeah, it’s about Greg Everett but it’s about ten or twelve other kids I know pretty well – about an unrealized nation of “twenty-somethings” who simply don’t give a fuck because hopelessness has been so instilled from K-12, a generation who aspire to little more than a good job. Ugly is a human document of misery and it’s damn sincere. Militantly sad. And also very sweet because beyond any of it the monster does love with the undiluted passion of a mind unusually complicated.
Most people won’t like this book unless they can relate to its subject matter. Most people will call it cliché, angsty, angry, bullshit, repetitive – because this book threatens them, because they cannot relate. And these people need to read it the most and understand what causes a man who was once a bouncing baby boy to write a book like this. This book is not “dear diary,” it is independent combustions linked chronologically on a daisy-chain of suffering. Most people voted for Bush (generic obligatory remark). Happy ending:
the back of the book bears the mark “Grundle Ink Publications,” an operation that Greg runs himself at the ripe ‘ol age of twenty-three.
This book is much different than Greg Everett’s ballsy and largely satirical essays, it is an intimate journey through someone else’s hell to be read comfortably while listening to loud music. Read while alone.
Mr. Everett’s book is available for purchase at Grundle Ink.