- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (August 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062388681
- ISBN-13: 978-0062388681
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: A Novel Paperback – August 9, 2016
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“The smartest, strangest novel I’ve read in a while.” (Paris Review, Staff Pick)
“This debut novel by future superstar Alexandra Kleeman will be the thing to be seen reading this summer. Pick it up if you want to up your summer cool factor . . . . .Very funny, perfectly weird, a hyperintelligent commentary on a culture obsessed with you and fame.” (Vanity Fair)
“A clever satire of our culture’s ever intensifying obsession with health, diet, and body image.” (Los Angeles Magazine)
“Alexandra Kleeman has written Fight Club for girls.” (Vogue.com)
“You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is a powerful allegory of our civilization’s many maladies, artfully and elegantly articulated, by one of the young wise women of our generation.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The symbols of modern anomie in this novel are familiar (soulless supermarkets, insane mass entertainments, etc.), but Ms. Kleeman has a singular, off-kilter style, and a distinct vision of the absurd horrors that can come with being trapped in a body.” (New York Times)
“Kleeman’s debut novel is a fever dream of modern alienation. . . . not really like any other, but could be described as a blend of the nightmarish disassociation of DeLillo’s White Noise and the phantasmagoria of Bergman’s Persona. A challenging novel, but undoubtedly one with something to say.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Excellent . . . Sprinkled with detailed summaries of invented advertisements, the book describes a consumer landscape just on the far side of plausible. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is a story about realizing you’re hungry and trying to find out what for.” (Slate)
“Her darkly satirical debut lays bare the ravages of advertising-fueled culture and consumerism, through a purposefully distorted version of our reality. Fans of DeLillo, Pynchon and Shteyngart are advised to take note.” (Huffington Post)
“This is not a breezy summer read, but it’s cerebral, sharp, funny - and worth the ride.” (New York Post)
From the Back Cover
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
A Huffington Post Best Fiction
A Bustle Best Debut
A Lithub Best Book
A woman known only as A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality dating show called That’s My Partner! A eats (or doesn’t eat) the right things, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials, and models herself on a standard of beauty that exists only in such advertising.
Meanwhile, B is attempting to make herself a twin of A, who in turn hungers for something to give meaning to her life, something aside from C’s pornography addiction.Alexandra Kleeman’s unforgettable debut is a missing-person mystery told from the point of view of the missing person—an American horror story that concerns sex and friendship, consumption and appetite, faith and transformation, real food and reality television.
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"Then last January dads started turning up, one by one. Good Samaritans found them wandering dazed in shopping malls five towns over, malls that were not their own but resembled their own to an uncanny degree. They would return to familiar stores like the Gap and try to buy khakis with little scraps of paper that they had collected from obscure places"
-- and the supermarket chain Wally's (the descriptions of which are hilarious) where the employees wear oversized masks so every Wally looks like every other one. Kleeman has to be riffing off the Wally World in National Lampoon's "Vacation" by creating its equivalent in a supermarket, where food shopping has become pilgrimage, where food is hanging from the chandeliers in ever-changing combinations, where food shopping promises to be a perfect experience but is anything but, and where the food is ultimately unattainable. The character of A engages in constant navel-gazing but some of that is actual navel-gazing; as in navel oranges. It's clever and amusing. All in all, a creative and interesting book.
genre/subject area - save yourself the time and read one of them (like, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty) instead.