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Joseph Riippi calls his style of writing “Dirty Realism,” which, he explained to the online magazine Every Day Fiction, is composed with “threads of image-rich, shallow streams of consciousness, followed by very direct rhetorical questions to challenge the reader.” That’s probably the MFA talking, but Riippi manages to make good on his promise of challenging the reader in Do Something Do Something Do Something, his first novel. Do Something follows a drunken writer, an institutionalized literary critic, and the woman with the starfish tattoo, three broken Americans whose trials–rape, mental breakdown, substance abuse—Riippi intertwines with the great stresses of contemporary American life, terrorism, and economic collapse. The absence of quotation marks and paragraph breaks makes the reader just as anxious as the subjects, and the murky delineation between exposition and dialogue makes for breathless scenes.

RIIPI DISCUSSES AND SIGNS COPIES OF HIS WORK AT 6:30 P.M. AT BUSBOYS AND POETS, 2021 14TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 387-7638.