Just finished 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Actor-writer-comedian Albert Brooks. The book takes place in the not-too-distant future, and while it is funny, and probably quite prescient, it is just not a novel--it's more a collection of characters wandering through a series of plots, in search of a heart, or even a unifying theme.
It most definitely suffered by comparison to Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart--which I read a couple of weeks ago.
Super Sad True Love Story (SSTLS) deals with the same premise, and I found it to be a much better book, overall; it grew on me slowly, though, and at page 50, I almost gave up on it as a "gimmick" book...Glad I didn't, as the eventual emotional payoff was worth it.
Both books came out recently, and both are enjoying some success, but personally, I don't think Albert Brooks book would have been published if he wasn't, well, Albert Brooks.
Both humorist-authors see the U.S. as heading toward becoming an economic "also ran" (duh) and see the population's widening age-and-money gap as a source of contention in the near future, with young and old furiously haggling for bigger pieces of the country's dwindling funds (double duh).
Some of the things that SSTLS foresees in our future are funnier and seems just as likely--constant shopping on our ever-present "apparati" (like an iPhone, plus some) as well as "Onionskin" brand see-though jeans, made to showcase young women's shaved genitalia. I can't say I am looking forward to that potential clothing fad--though many current styles ("booty shorts" for one) seems nearly as odd.
Anyway, it's a brave new--or nude--world a comin,' according to our current novelists. Be prepared.
Meanwhile, I'm back to re-reading Jane Austen; this time it is Emma. And some non-fiction... More on that later.
1/17/14 RMB 1976 Speech
23 hours ago