Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Jonathan Miles reviews Gary Shteygart

The Sunday New York Times Book Review, 9/30, has a review of  Gary Shteygart's "Lake Success" by Jonathan Miles.  Miles has been a favorite, and he certainly does not overload on publishing.  As a reviewer of Shteygart, he is a good choice.  Humor is a central part of both author's writing, but done with skilled powers of observation that speak to serious issues as well.  About one third of the way through "Lake Success" at the moment, that approach seems to be on track.

There are two differences.  With Miles, when a book is finished, a bigger message resonates after all of the clever language and story lines are done.  With Miles, some major characters have depth even after the hijinks are over.  With Shteygart, a book can be immensely enjoyed during the read but, when the book is done, it is done.  If that makes sense.  Maybe "Lake Success" will be a surprise, but if not so what.  To quote the Miles review, "Gary Shteygart holds his adopted country up to the light, turns it, squints, turns it some more, and finds himself grimacing and laughing in almost equal measure."  A current book that can do that is needed.


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