Last Exit to Brooklyn

Last Exit to Brooklyn - Hubert  Selby Jr. I can picture this book being read in college literature classes. I am sure that it deserves its place in modern American Literature and I am also sure that this book and Selby have their fans. I won't dispute his genius. My rating is not based on the "merit" of the book, but on whether I liked it and the truth is that I found this book to be repulsive and nauseating. I think that I was expecting it to be sort of like Kennedy's Iron Weed (which I liked) but much darker but Last Exit isn't dark---it is more like wallowing in a sewer and I kept reading only by hoping to see what Selby was trying to say to the reader. I kept looking for insight into the human condition. I must confess that in the end I just didn't see the point. I found the loosely related stories that make up this "novel" to be repetitive. Follow a repellent and completely repulsive character around, watch them victimize people, and then watch them subjected to extreme violence at the hands of other equally repellent and repulsive characters. As much as I hated reading this book one thought never left my mind. I felt sorry for Selby. He must have lived with a terrible darkness inside him to have written this book. The scary thing is that as bad as this book is, his novel The Room is supposed to be much darker. Looking at the reviews I see one person stating that they felt like burning their copy---and they LIKED the book! That's a common thread. Even the people that give his books 5 stars didn't enjoy reading them.