what a mindfuck. this is a pretty bizarre read. weird, weird idea, this novel. he brings up a bunch of stuff - what does it mean to be insane? what does it mean to be sane? (is there a difference? can you tell the difference, if someone is one or the other?) labels. therapy. sex. writing. deception. book burning. identity. literary critique. academia in general. the media and its effect on people. images and their pervasiveness. on and on.i don't feel like i enjoyed this book, but something certainly kept me turning the pages.totally not representative of the story at all, but a good explanation of the weirdness:"And yet it seemed to me things had come to a very peculiar pass when you were relieved to find a dog's penis left outside your door."it gets so into your head that i can't tell if i just didn't like the way it was written, or if he wrote it not as well as he could have on purpose. how much of this story was a game? how much was he playing with the reader? the following quote was referencing a book review about a book written in this book, but i think it sums up the purpose of bedlam burning pretty well:"'...although readers frequently found the book hilarious, they were generally unsure whether they were laughing with the book or at it and, perhaps more problematically, whether the book was laughing at them.'i think this book laughs at many, many things that most people take (or try to take) seriously. and maybe there's some brilliance in that, in the way he does it. i don't know, it's hard to say. it leaves me questioning everything, which i think was his intention.