By Jason Diamond
Tobias Carroll is going to Chicago. Being from there, and liking Mr. Carroll as much as I do, I tried my hardest to direct him to the finest booksellers in the city: Myopic, Quimbys, Armadillo’s Pillow, plus others in the north. Also mentioning the south, and the stores in and around Hyde Park*.
Since my (terrible) internal GPS only really works in and around the Northside, I had to use old, reliable Google to get addresses, and of course, I end up with Yelp reviews. Now if you know me at all, you know that when Yelp reviews are placed in front of me, I have to look. Even if the reviews are written about bookstores. Sure enough, like an incredible booger after an intense nose-picking sesh, I find this nugget on 57th Street Books:
Tina B., what are you doing writing Yelp reviews? This story could be a fucking novella. She is flying dangerously close to Nelson Algren territory, almost like Icarus on a user-generated content site: conjuring up images of the dangerous Southside speakeasies and bottle fights of yesteryear. But Tina B. is fearless, and not afraid to fly higher! You want skanks? Tina B. gives you skanks. Then she ties it up with a feeling of longing, wishing that your own basement was “just like this and that everything in here was really all mine.”
You are gonna make it Tina! You will! You must! Chicago literature needs you*!
*Oh wait, no it doesn’t.
*While the bookstores are enough allure to go to this neighborhood, Hyde Park in October is pretty much unbeatable in general. Unless it’s raining.