A Review of ‘A Room With No Windows’ by Scott Hobbs Bourne: Degenerate Lit Rules

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On a selfish google search of ‘skateboard novels’ I found Quartersnacks review of Scott Hobbs Bourne book. Here’s the link to that, http://quartersnacks.com/2013/04/recent-skate-book-round-up-a-room-with-no-windows-diy-better-if-you-dont-come-back/ . With the review of A Room With No Windows stating erotic content and skateboarding together I felt I needed to read it. My first intent was to make sure someone didn’t already do my novel. Luckily this book contains no skateboarding, and is different from my work.

There are a certain type of readers that fall in love with the prose of Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and other writers some consider misogynistic. The themes of drinking, promiscuity but also modern day philosophy ring true to many.  Throughout reading A Room With No Windows I kept thinking it as the author’s tribute to Miller and Bukowski. Instead of Paris in the 1930’s, or Los Angeles in the 1960’s, the city is San Francisco in the 1990’s.

Between 1992 and 1999 San Francisco became the mecca for skateboarding. Thousands of skateboarders’ worldwide moved there, and tried to get sponsorship. Some got sponsored, and I’m sure a lot of them went through interesting times pursuing skating in that city.

The author Scott Hobbs Bourne had skate sponsors. Below is one of his skate parts. On the interview of him online below he states he purposely did not include skating in this novel. The novel works without it. But hopefully someone will take the starving skateboarder story and write about it.

In my opinion what makes Bourne’s novel work is the setting. I’ve never been to San Francisco but as the story progressed I almost visualized it. When he’s in a coffee house flirting with sales clerks to get free coffee the prose flows. The description of the rental house, and the reason he lives in a windowless room are great too. The bars he frequents, the junkies, the seediness of the city, and even the cat makes sense.

The main character is promiscuous, and saw various parts of San Francisco by waking up in different rooms. The sex scenes are well written, and the eventual love interest had depth. I don’t think it’s humor but the situations in the novel are comical. The character and his housemates don’t want to work, and they conned themselves into a profitable valet service at a nice restaurant.

If you’re interested in what San Francisco was like in the 1990’s read this book. Being a skateboarder or not does not matter. The time period of the 1990’s is the last relic of the pre cell phone days. And may be the last time frame for novels like these. If you like this book do yourself a favor by reading Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and other classic degenerate authors.


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