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“Man, this book is whack!”
~ Oscar Wilde on the Dhalgren
Dhalgren is a science fiction book by Samuel Delany well known for its easy to decipher writing on the level of Run, Pug, Run. It is well known for its prudish themes and conservative stand point against premarital sex. It takes place in a city known as Below Ya which is characterized by its well manicured lawns and high population of upper class caucasians. Authors such as Phillip K. Dick declared the book the best novel ever written. William Gibson has a reputation for hating the book and claiming that it killed the literary cyberpunk movement forever. The book itself is often criticised for being little more than a platform for Samuel Delany's conservative, rascist, and above all homophobic views. There are some rumors that declare The Grateful Dead was formed after Jerry Garcia read the book and found his opinions closed forever to any other thoughts.
edit Plot Summary
Kidd Dhalgren is a lone white suprememist with photographic memory who, for reasons never explained, starts the book wandering down a highway until he encounters Tia Carrere, with whom he has carnal relations. After Tia Carrere turns into a tree, our hero hitchhikes to the city of Below Ya and, after befriending homophobic SuperNazi Tak Jagger, starts a gang dedicated to conservative values, killing jews, and ruling the world with a Iron Fist. Kidd Dhalgren's gang also included his two girlfriends, Jewel Kilcher and David Cassidy. Using his mighty weapon, the Brass Dildo, Kidd Dhalgren and his gang smite all the Jews, niggers, gooks, reds, pinks, greens, and other sub-human horrors. After the sun goes supernova or something Kidd Dhalgren drinks too much cough syrup and much silliness ensues. By the end of the book shit has gotted so weird that the words on the page are all jumbled up, and Delany sodomizes himself with his own ego. Eventually the Kidd writes the book you're reading, thus turning into Delany himself.
Samuel R. Delany went on to later direct Neon Genesis Evangelion, which made about as much sense.
edit Publishing History
First printed in 1974 the release was a first as it contained no errors and required no corrections at all. The second printing occurred in 1974 as the first edition was consumed in a fire at the Bantham Publishing House. The third printing came in 1974 as well as the second printing was accidentally sent to a landfill in New Mexico. The fourth printing followed in 1975, although no copies of the third printing reached consumers as it simply vanished while the shipment went through Peoria. The fourth printing was recalled as it contained so many errors as to render the book unreadable. In 2005 the fifth printing was released but popularity had waned leading to a significantly reduced print run.
- Only two copies of the first edition exist. These are highly sought after as The Perfect Editions. One copy is owned Donny Osmond while the other resides with Davy Jones.
- Samuel Delany is currently under fire as a notorious white supremist as well as direct links to groups like the NRA and Dhalgren is considered prime brainwashing material for young, white, conservatives.
- Much of Below Ya is modelled after the real city of London in England.