Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Don't Love Me Yet - Jonathan Lethem

Billed as a romantic comedy – You Don’t Love Me Yet – takes place within the isolated inner circle of a group of LA hipsters. Lucinda is working in a friend’s art exhibit – a complaint center. The artist, Falmouth, posts signs seeking peole to call and complain. Lucinda soon becomes entranced by a man who regularly calls. Lucinda shares the "complainer's" insights with her band’s songwriter.

After hearing them play at an “aparty” – they were originally supposed to play inaudibly – the complainer asks to play in the band. He thinks he has a stake in the band because their new songs incorporate his complaints.

It seems everyone’s life is in a state of flux or confusion. The singer, Matthew, kidnaps a depressed kangaroo from the zoo where he works. Lucinda careens around, making foolish choices.

Some of the language was very evocative and there are some interesting concepts such as the creation of art. If art like music is collaborative who owns the songs? The one who came up with the ideas, the one who melded them into words or the one who puts music to the words?

Overall, I was a little disappointed in You Don’t Love Me Yet. I really liked Motherless Brooklyn, but felt this didn’t really compete. At times I felt like the hipness or edginess was too forced and I couldn’t really relate to the main character Lucinda. It reminded me of a lot of new independent movies I’ve seen that seem to be strange and weird just for the sake of being quirky.

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