Tuesday, January 09, 2007

You Don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem

More than anything, this book made me angry. Not the righteous indignation of believing in what the author has written about; this made me angry because Lethem is such a better writer than this flimsy little novel. Now I know I can’t expect everything he writes to be Motherless Brooklyn (Lionel Essrog—wherefore art thou, Essrog?) or Fortress of Solitude; that’s too much to ask and it would be unfair. The thing is, if this was a first or second novel by a promising 30 year old Iowa MFA who’d kicked around L.A. in a band for a while and wrote a story based on that, I’d say “Let’s see what this kid has in a couple of years”. My beef is that by the time he was 30, Lethem was already writing promising and highly original work like Gun With Occasional Music and went on to write other really great stuff. I’m completely bummed because I was so looking forward to reading new Lethem. This is more like Lethem-lite and that just won't do.

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