I found myself reading lines over and over, not because I couldn’t understand them, but because I wanted to memorize them. Meticulous insight and inspired perceptions jump off of every page. Briglia writes, “Cheesiness combined with confidence often creates an air of authority,” which sounds like magical wisdom which had been hidden from me all these years. He says, “I have an aversion to any kind of group pride,” which is the expression of a person whose ennui has gravitas. Despite that heroin is likely a key to these doors of perception—the doors are truly open here, and one becomes wiser for having read Good Lust Charm.
Much like Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries, this book is the first person narration of a fearless Kerouacian—he’s whimsical and lyrical, brutally honest and erotic, wild with flavors and tastes and the insider’s nod that you have finally arrived where it’s at. This is a fantastic story and I look forward to more from Sebastian Briglia.
Written by Sebastian Briglia, about a character named Sebastian Briglia, New Wave and the Art… is an intimate look at a young man’s drug addiction. He also enjoys sex and New Wave music. A myriad of characters are encountered along the way, but they are all seen through a smoky haze, and the protagonist does not really care much about anyone or anything except getting loaded.
The text is written like letters, most of them beginning “Dear Trash Can.” They are little vignettes from the character’s memory, with backstory added as necessary. Like work by William S. Burroughs and Jim Carroll, they depict the daily doings of a drug addict in constant need of drugs, and the interesting events that occur when seeking, finding, and sharing the experience. And like Burroughs and Carroll, Briglia includes some witty, useful street smart advice for the curious and up and coming junky. Sculptures by Agop Gemdjian are featured prominently. They are in brilliant color and reminiscent of the Ralph Steadman drawings in Fear and Loathing. The whole is not as well manicured as the druggy manifestos by those other guys, but it is safe to say that Mr. Briglia did not have the luxury of a thousand dollar editor like they did.
All in all, this is a frequently inspired and elegant, funny view of life on the lam, where getting high and then higher still is the only real point of anything.