Tim Bennett has done a fantastic text remix of Down and Out. He says, "The text was generated by separating the novel's sentences onto separate lines. Then I sorted them alphabetically from the last letter, to the first, so that sentences would cluster in roughly rhyming groups. From that process I refined the rhymes and constructed a short narrative."
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Doctorow doesn’t undermine this adulation of Disney World with cheap irony. Rather, he presents it entirely on its own terms. The novel itself can’t really be called ironic; instead, it is permeated by a deadpan, slightly creepy sense of effusive sincerity. The characters are all “twittering, Pollyannic” people. They display a sort of dampened affect: a distant, impersonal warmth, unburdened by any hint of anxiety, let alone tragedy. They “can’t help but be friendly”; they have a “look of chirpy helpfulness at their instant disposal.” Sometimes the older folks, who still remember the pre- Bitchun world of scarcity and work, complain that the younger generation lacks fire and passion. But this crit-icism is simply unintelligible to those who have grown up with the Bitchun Society, and spent their entire lives in Disney World.
Paperback ISBN: 076530953X