Hot Pink

Adam Levin switches personas like costumes in his debut collection of short stories. The book has many layers, and one of Hot Pink’s underlying themes is underlying themes. Levin explores the deeper meaning of everyday occurrences while his characters overanalyze everything. Each story has its own unique voice and feel, and each story is embodied by its own speaker. Most writers find a point of view and stick with it. Levin carries a mixed bouquet. Whether it’s the homosexual son of a mad scientist, or a weed dealer who doesn’t smoke anymore and loves to read self help; a legless 15-year-old lesbian college student, or a Chicago meathead contemplating the intentions of his vocalizations during aggressive situations, Levin’s got game. In “Jane Tell,” our dealer explains why he no longer smokes: “Whenever I smoked marijuana, I’d stare, and whatever I’d stare at would seem important. All images became imagery, sophomoric imagery, the symbolic meaning of the non-symbolic things on which my eyes fixed wholly independent of their actual functions. Cigars not just cocks, but primal cocks—the primal cocks of the patriarchs.” The book is good, funny, sad, weird and way too short.