Ah, Jonathan Lethem. Even when you give us lightweight confection you delight us with your clever comparisons, your wonderful dialog, and your uncanny ability to give voice to those sensations and feelings we thought could never be put into words.
Case in point: You Don't Love Me Yet.
On the surface it's a story about a girl in a rock band who during the day mans a "complain line" as part of an art experiment (this is Los Angeles, after all). One of her regular complainers has such a way with words that she co-opts his complaints as lyrics, which kick start the band to new levels. The catch? At their first gig the Complainer (as he's called) hears the new stuff and wants in. Wackiness ensues.
The admittedly brief synopsis above doesn't begin, however, to describe the experience of reading You Don't Love Me Yet, and doesn't hint at the many explorations of love and relationships, and the nature of music and how it affects not only the people listening to it, but the people making it as well. Lethem is a writer I'm proud to say I've been turned onto ever since his first novel Gun, With Occasional Music and although he's moved away from the science fiction to mainstream (if you can call it that) literative fiction and all the accolades that accompany, his biggest strength of conveying ideas and emotions directly to the reader has only gotten better with time. If you're a musician and you've ever played in front of a crowd you'll love this book - his description of what happens to a crowd during a show is spot-on, and the characterizations of the various band members are uncanny in how they at once embrace everything that's both romantic and realistic about the "struggling musician" type.
Very quick, very enjoyable. Now please get to work on something epic along the lines of your last novel The Fortress of Solitude.