Monday, 29 August 2011

You Don't Love This Book Yet

The Book: You Don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem
(the third trendy Jonathan, after Franzen and Safran Foer, before Tropper)

The Review: "A gentle and hip romantic comedy . . . Witty and charming, You Don't Love Me Yet breezes through LA's iconoclastic anonymity with a refreshing sincerity."

The Reviewer: James Urquhart, The Independent

The Verdict: Allow me to translate.

"A gentle and hip romantic comedy . . . breezes" = Disposable

"Witty and charming" = Trying to be witty and charming

"LA's iconoclastic anonymity" = The characters are taken from a checklist of hipster stereotypes and you are given no reason to care about any of them.

"Refreshing sincerity" = Can only be facetious. At least the jacket blurb indicated how contrived the whole thing is when it invoked "delicious echoes of Jane Austen's Emma". (There aren't any delicious echoes of Austen.)

Lethem hints at some interesting questions regarding authorship, conceptual art, criticism and success. Like diamond earrings lost at the end of Glastonbury, if you want to dig through all of the hipster effluent, they're yours.

No comments:

Post a Comment