Elevate Difference

Will Work for Drugs

I have always wanted to like Lydia Lunch. I’ve always admired her assertiveness and her dark attitude, and at times, even her severely sarcastic wit. I couldn’t ever get into her music though, so I thought I would try moving on to reading some of her short stories in Will Work for Drugs, a collection of Lunch’s fiction, personal essays, and interviews.

The beginning part of this book drags on and only slightly picks up towards the end with Lunch’s interviews. My favorite part was the interviews because, strangely enough, this was where Lunch seemed the most sincere, the most candid, and the most herself. The stories and essay sections were jumbled together, and they were not labeled as to which was which, so I never really knew if I was reading about some true event in Lunch’s little known past or peeking into her fantasies.

Regardless of whether they were stories or essays, in each one it was also extremely difficult to understand what was going on, where the action was, or the overall message Lunch wanted the reader to come away with. Lunch relies heavily on overtly flowery metaphors for everything, so much so that each story seemed to be mostly descriptions rather than actual stories. This section read more like prose, much like the style of Patti Smith, which was done well at times; however, overall I found Lunch’s choices similar to excerpts from a teenage goth girl’s diary: trying too hard to impress the reader with her darkness and toughness. Maybe her die-hard fans will appreciate Lunch’s newest work, but this reader remains unconverted.

Written by: Jen Klee, September 4th 2009