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Reverend Jen's account of her neighborhood "fun" is both educational and entertaining, not to mention, a staggering work of genius that knocks the pretentious off their high horse with its honest aesthetic of the uncool. The political puppet show combines silly humor and scathing political satire as well as pop culture references and more laughs than a barrel full of crazed monkeys. I love Reverend Jen. Although I am not Reverend Jen. I love her. Despite the fact that Reverend Jen will probably never be recognized by the established literary / art world of her time, years from now, Reverend Jen will be recognized as an artist whose vision inspired a whole new legion of art stars.
I cringed when I read the so-called review in which the reviewer launched a personal attack on the author rather than discussing the book. That was extremely inappropriate, and the person who wrote that should be ashamed of himself or herself. Then again, another reviewer, in response to that out-of-line review, wrote something that praised the author but again did not address the book itself at all. I think some people are missing the point of a review. Lest I too become one of those people, I'll now talk about the book: I liked it. The Lower East Side is a fun place. As Manhattan becomes more uniformly upscale and sanitized (you *know* things are changing when even the Meatpacking District becomes fashionable), the Lower East Side is the last bastion of hipness and nonconformity. I thought "Reverend Jen's Really Cool Neighborhood" captured the feel of that very nicely. As the author says, it's quite likely that some of the places she mentioned will no longer be there by the time the reader reads the book, but that hardly matters. The value of the book is not in its usefulness as a travel guide. Rather, I think it serves as a snapshot of a certain place at a certain time - a neighborhood somewhere between the old dangerous-but-fun New York and the new safe-but-bland New York.
I for one hope and pray that the Rev has got rich parents who will look after her. Pointy ears don't grow on trees, you know! And neither do troll museums. She's a gentle genius and this book will heal you. No, this doesn't mean you can stop taking your lithium or your amoxicillin (you know who you are.)