Tao Lin would have been a much more respectable proposition had he combined all his work together in a KLF style manual on 'how to develop a cult following without getting found out'. Instead, he has indirectly/directly sanctioned the release of a novella which bares the scent of Evasion, a 2001 CrimethInc publication, which tells the similar, more complete story of a vegan writer/zinester who decides to drop out and travel across America using shoplifting and freegan tactics to survive. Instead, Lin has used Shoplifting as filler until his second novel comes out in 2010. Instead, Lin has exposed his weakness as a writer.
Tao Lin's fandom probably has enough momentum to ensure that this review will not make any impact on sales or reputation. And the obsequious cronyism displayed in certain favourable reviews will further enhance the shifting of units. But I sense that the “unidirectional nature of time” will eventually relegate Shoplifting from American Apparel to the bargain bin and the conclusion of the automatic markdown system – the charity shop.