Not Just Upper Class Affluent White People


With her review of the new Ian McEwan, Michiko Kakutani once again proves that when she pans a book, it’s actually worth reading (I’ll spare you the list).

As if you were looking for it, here’s a nice spoof of DeLillo’s The Falling Man from the Guardian.

And now Helen Schulman has a 9/11 novel, A Day at the Beach, in which she sets herself the impossible challenge of creating sympathetic characters out of a successful, 50-year-old, Tribeca-dwelling, dance choreographer and his 36 year-old former pupil/wife.

This all makes Moshin Hamid’s book look more interesting. I read his Moth Smoke a hundred years ago and was unimpressed. So you understand my dilemma.

Where’s the one about an immigrant, Haitian Port Authority cop , by Edwidge Danticat?

Where’s the novel of the man who walks away from the towers and pretends he’s dead, leaving his family, and while escaping across the earth finally ends up dying in a fluke shipwreck off Suqutra? That one’s by Haruki Murakami.

Where’s the novel about anyone at the Pentagon? Pelecanos?

Where’s Tom Perotta’s book about the Middletown family unable to accept for a month that their loved one is definitely buried right where they’d rather not believe?

Ah fuck. They never write the books you want.


2 thoughts on “Not Just Upper Class Affluent White People

  1. Kakutani’s relentlessly fair. She always seem to resist the childish temptation to take cheap potshots, even when the book merits them (was it the last Amis novel?). I generally like Lethem fine, but that review is virtually unreadable.


  2. Nah. She’s also boring and a foaming cliche-mug. Remember her ‘cultural’ column in the NYT Magazine? It was so awful even the Magazine knew enough to axe it after maybe three entries. And when she reviews a book in the assumed voice of another literary character, it’s not only awful but never inspired. She really needs to stop doing that.She’s also infamous for mistaking satire for something other than satire. Her review of Brett Easton Ellis’s novels are among the most unintentionally hilarious out there. Lethem’s article might have had problems, but he was right. And he didn’t insult us.To wit: I first and finally dismissed her in ’94 when she reviewed Gaddis’s <>A Frolic of His Own<> and summed it up by saying ” …Mr. Gaddis’s provocative vision of modern society is purchased at a price, the price of hard work and frequent weariness on the part of the reader.”Hard work? Frequent weariness? Is she admitting she’s stupid? I’m not one of those freaks able to devour <>The Recognitions<> in a sitting, but while <>A Frolic of his Own<> wasn’t as quick as a Rick Moody novel, it also wasn’t any denser than the easiest Saul Bellow, either. Oh, wait. The “reader” is stupid. She writes for stupid readers. She’s useless.


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