Top positive review
A Fitting Noir For The Time Of trump
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2018
In this time of trump, many of us are looking for answers, an escape, or someone to bring us the truth, some hope, some way out. Can we be saved?
Jonathan Lethem has written a book that astonishes, dismays, disappoints some, but I found it the perfect noir for our times. The book is narrated by a brash, thirty year old woman, Phoebe, who is so upset by trump’s election, she has quit her New York Times job in a rage. Her best friend’s daughter, Arabella, has gone missing from a small college in Portland, Oregon. Phoebe knows Arabella had a thing for Leonard Cohen and May have gone to the Mount Baldy Zen Center outside of LA where Cohen practiced his Buddhism. She hires a private detective, Charles Heist, aka, The Feral Detective, who is a scraggly bearded man who talks little, but seems to know his job.
The investigation takes them to a wilderness outside of LA. Clues lead to a desert where people live off the grid. There two groups are found, The Rabbits, made up of mostly women, who are more civilized, and The Bears, full of misogynistic bullies who believe in violence in a sexual nature. Sound familiar?
And, into this parallel universe of hippies and strangers Phoebe loses Heist but finds a clever group of women, while Heist is in over his head with the violence of the Bears. In this time of confusion, Phoebe finds hope. She has no idea what is happening in the real world, maybe that is for the best.
This is a book of our time with underlying vibes of them and us. Often times funny, but most times worrying. Phoebe is what keeps everything together. Her wise cracking exterior, hiding her anxiety and disgust, but she never gives up. This is the year of the woman, after all.
Recommended. prisrob 11-10-18