The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

For about the past year, I have had a growing fondness bordering on obsession with the book “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” by Henry Miller.  The book is difficult to categorize, but I would call it a book-length anti-American essay disguised as a travel memoir.  Now, the words “Anti-American” may turn some people off, understandably.  But see here: Miller wasn’t shy about disdaining our nation.  And while I love America, I can often see many of Miller’s points.  I don’t blindly love America.  There is, in fact, plenty to loathe here.

What I love about the book is the true amazingness with which it is written.  The whole book—all 288 pages of it—reads like an abrupt, out-of-breath poem about a trip Miller took across the US after his lengthy self-exile in Europe.  Every page is in exquisite joy to read, even if you think Henry Miller should have shoved his Commie dick up his ass.  And what really astounds me about this incredible work is that it is arguably his least-known work; you will not find it at Barnes and Noble. you have to order it!  Gasp!

So anyway, I read the whole book a few times over the last year and just couldn’t stop being held in it’s spell.  Then I started reading it aloud…and I have never turned back.  Yes, I am a man who reads things aloud to myself at home.  Sometimes, there’s just nothing like it.  But it’s usually poetry.  Once I started thinking of “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” as poetry, there was no looking back!

Of course, then I had the idea of recording myself reading it for a blog (just the first chapter) and despite my complete knowledge that nobody would care and it would make me look like a weirdo, I just HAD to do it.  I assure you, this was just for my enjoyment; I never had any illusions that this would be of value to any of my readers.

If you ARE feeling frisky, go ahead and start listening.  You might just like it enough to order the book!  But be forewarned, even this first chapter reading is VERY long.  But I am a damned good reader and you’re bound to enjoy my audible interpretation.

 

 

4 Responses to “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare”

  1. I’ll listen to it before I go to sleep. It will be like a Seth Dellinger bedtime story.

  2. I love listening to you read. So calming.

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