My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A few thoughts on Gray’s novel, which is the first thing I’ve read of Spalding Gray’s works.
I think watching Soderbergh’s And Everything is Going Fine was a good intro into Gray’s distinctive voice & obsessions. However, many of the stories in Impossible Vacation were touched on in the film.
While the story is about Brewster North’s travels here in the US & abroad, the abstract idea that eludes him is the ability “to hang out”–a catchall term for being comfortable in the moment.
North’s interlude w. another man in an Amsterdam bathhouse makes me want to go back & read Matthew’s rantings in Nightwood.
The ending insight is sad: North has a realization of wholeness yet begins the story again, trapped in a loop. Will he be able to reach clarity again? We know the answer from real life.