The Meaning of Life in Butler’s 300,000,000

Blake Butler’s 300,000,000 will churn stomachs, induce headaches and inspire bewilderment and consternation. For the diligent reader who pushes past its exhaustive 455 page span, it will provoke such a range of emotional responses that one would not be wrong to think it able to cull the entire spectrum of conceivable sensations. In fact, this is exactly what the novel intends to do with nearly every sort of living experience packed into its grafting language and phantasmagoric plot. After finishing the book, the usual questions ran through my mind: What did Butler try to accomplish here? Was he successful?