There is some amount of pleasure in being too little to truly remember the 70s. Sure, I was eight when the decade came to an end, but I was young and naive. The 80s were like totally my generation.
Then, a book like Interior Desecrations by James Lileks comes along, and spoils it for all of us.
Interior Desecrations is a collection, a vile and hideous collection, of all that was wrong and evil in home design from a decade that brought us avocado green shag carpets and goldenrod “yellow” kitchen appliances. It is an eye-opener of epic proportions. But, much like staring into the sun, if you don’t look away at some point, you will suffer permanent damage.
Room descriptions in this book are a thing of beauty:
- It’s a difficult effect to achieve: take several sets of fresh cow lungs, stuff them with explosives, light the fuse, and shut the door.
- Perhaps there’s such a thing as “room karma.” If something horrible has happened in a space, the room must suffer along with those who perpetrated the evil.
If you have a sense of taste, you might want to avoid this book. I fear that between the covers is a taste-black-hole. Nothing that is good and wholesome can escape its clutches. Everything you know will be replaced with plaid, shag, and reflective wall papers.
However, if you, like me, have a morbid fascination with all things grotesque then you will enjoy this book like a good car accident. You can’t look away, you dirty voyeur.