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You Don't Love Me Yet (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – April 8, 2008
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Fans of Fortress and Motherless Brooklyn may find this novel's levity too drastic a shift, but even though Lethem is having a great time here with wordplay, a motley cast, and Lucinda's sexual meanderings, You Don't Love Me Yet is anything but a simple entertainment. He plays with our notions of art and authorship, enjoying a bit of advanced cribbery himself as he experiments with Shakespearean antics and inexplicable love match-ups. At every turn, Lethem seems to be asking sticky questions: Can anyone create the consummate intersection of dream, desire, and reality that art (and great sex) embodies? Will it last, and should it? Can any one writer capture that moment with a few meager words? If they did, how long would it take for it to be reduced to meaningless slogan? --Heidi Broadhead --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
He is the author of seven novels including Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger.
He has also written two short story collections, a novella and a collection of essays, edited The Vintage Book of Amnesia, guest-edited The Year's Best Music Writing 2002, and was the founding fiction editor of Fence magazine.
His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's and many other periodicals.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Top Customer Reviews
The main character appreciates this existance. She prefers her friends to be "benign, enchanted and fond." Band members, Lucinda says, are "the dreamers, the fools, her only friends." She is 29, however, and recognizes at books end that she and Matthew are on the verge of "the true complete lives in which they would at last drown, the oceanic voyage into their thirties and beyond, through which their inchoate yearnings would be either soothed or disappointed, or both."
This book is fun to read in the same way Friends is enjoyable to watch. We enter a world of youth, absent of responsibilities and pain, in which we are led to believe everything will work out as we hope or the rough equivalent. Lethem tells us through Lucinda that "the answer to any remaining question was yes." She leaves hesitation behind and opens herself and her friends to wild magic in the form of the The Complainer. This encounter leaves band members changed and undamaged; safely deposited back where they began.
Perhaps referring to himself, Lethem has the only true artist in the book describe his role in this way: "I want what we all want...Read more ›
And then it goes - absolutely nowhere. Lethem seems to want to write several novels here; one skewering the L.A. art scene, one about young, hip band on the verge of a breakout, one a funny doomed romance between a jaded, damaged older man and a wide-eyed hipster girl. These stories all might have made good-to-great short stories, or even two decent short novels, but instead, he grafts them together, failing each and producing a novel that's completely unsatisfying.
Lethem is a somewhat difficult writer. I say that because his books are always intelligent, slightly bizarre, and feature peculiar plots and un-satifying endings. I think these endings are a stylistic choice, not a failing; sometimes it works (Gun, with Occasional Music, Motherless Brooklyn), sometimes it does not (As she climbed across the table, Girl in Landscape). But with each of these books, the whole works and the endings fit; the product as a whole is good, sometimes great.
Here, it felt as if the writer were at a loss for what to do with these fantastic characters. It felt like one of those tacked on endings you get in films, when the end didn't test well and the studio requests a re-shoot. Suddenly instead of tragedy or artful ambiguity, you'll get improbably happy faces. The end of this book felt irrelevant and contrived.Read more ›
Set in the culture cauldron of L.A.'s hipster scene, the story concerns the (mis)fortunes of a nameless band trying to make it big. The four members, teetering on the diminishing edge of their twenties, find themselves struggling with both latent brilliance and the malignant malaise that comes from, well, from being part of a struggling band in L.A.
Most of the story centers around Lucinda, the bass player, who ping pongs between ex-boyfriends (one, the lead singer, Matthew; the other, a conceptual artist, Falmouth). On the surface, she's trying to make sense of her life and dreams, but mostly she just gets drunk and lets herself get swept up into hopelessly predictable problems, most of them involving sex. It's literary lasciviousness, although it is occasionally funny. Unfortunately, the story is populated by naive, inconsequential, and unlikeable characters, every one of them (not the least of which our self-absorbed lead) treading water and pointing at the ripples around them as evidence of progress.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here's the thing: when I first cracked open "The Fortress of Solitude" by Jonathan Lethem in December 2013, I found myself in the midst of a master of contemporary fiction... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Trevor Seigler
This is my first Lethem book. I went in not really knowing what to expect, but I like what I found. This is a quirky (and that's an understatement) story about two people breaking... Read morePublished on August 5, 2012 by William R. Shadbolt
"You Don't Love Me Yet" is at times a well written book, and even has moments where it is very well written. Unfortunately the story was just not all that interesting to me. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by B. Wilfong
Appropriately, I don't love this book yet. I do love Jonathan Lethem though, and if You Don't Love Me Yet leaves a bit to be desired, it does entrench the central reason I love... Read morePublished on May 21, 2012 by E. Kutinsky
I'm reluctant to pile on top of the author w/ another bad review so I'll keep it brief. There are some really nice turns of phrases buried in here, some lovely stuff. Read morePublished on February 25, 2012 by Fillyjonk
I had no idea why I was supposed to care about people who are driven by impulses completely contrived by the author. Read morePublished on August 18, 2011 by honeypickle
If you have never read Lethem before, don't let this book be your only Lethem. His other books are fabulous! Read morePublished on July 25, 2010 by Elixir Design
I really liked Lethem's earlier works, like Gun With Occassional Music, Amnesia Moon and She Crawled Across the Table, but have not seen anything close to those since. Read morePublished on July 22, 2010 by Gerry
Just think about the implications of the idea of a party where everyone is wearing headsets; thus, dancing to their own music while being together. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by Alicer