I couldn’t stop reading Joseph Riippi’s oddly-named novel, Do Something! Do Something! Do Something! (Ampersand Books 2009).The story concerns three people: an institutionalized guy named Eddie who is an extremely literate critic with a torn up life and questionable sanity; his sister, or step-sister, S., who was raped and subsequently spent some time in an institution herself; and an up-and-coming playwright named Martin, who is in the process of separating with his wife after the death of their 17-day-old baby. Damn.
It sounds oppressive, but somehow, it’s not. The features that carry the book are the vignettes Riippi embeds into their stories, and even though even these are not funny, they are wowing. S. (who is my favorite character) goes to a rock show and gets harassed by a dreadlocked motherfucker and later ties him by his hair to a park bench, then lights his dreads on fire. Eddie gets arrested for attacking a stripper with a broken glass, but he’s really just blacked out blitzed because his ex-girlfriend had security toss him from her art opening. Martin, wasted, nearly shits on a bum. Riippi draws their marrow with a syringe, and the pain he authors is so bad that none of the characters seem as despicable as I just described.
It’s a good book.
The following interview is kind of long, so let’s get to it.
How do you pronounce your last name? READ MORE >