Future Mythologies

A Textual Journey with Maxwell Von Bismarck

Friday, February 03, 2006


Okay, I've written about a few books I've read recently I've liked, so I think it's time for some negativity. The critic has an obligation to write both favorably and unfavorably, so here goes:

This is a book that's been sitting next to my reading chair for about a month half-finished. I can't remember what convinced me to read it originally, but probably that it is a humorous, postmodern book that takes place in a library. I love humor writing, postmodernism, and I especially love libraries, so it sounded essential. It's a short book and very easy to read, but about 100 pages in (halfway) I couldn't get it up to read any more. Actually, I think the first time I put it down, I never picked it up again.

The elements of postmodern pastiche (Kafka, Joyce, others I didn't recognize) are pale and sickly parodies, and the subject matter (doctoral research, birth control) tends to be esoteric and dated. But the main problem, of course, is that it just isn't entertaining. Lodge's other books might be fine, but his first attempt to write humor is laughably weak.

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