books about love

books about love; inks on paper, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, in the shop.

* * * * *
by Vanessa Veselka

Have you ever had one of those clever friends, those very clever friends who are intimate and aloof and charming and maddening at the same time? Your clever clever friend might even be a genius. Your clever clever friend might also have a mood disorder. Or at the very least live on some kind of emotional moonscape. A psychic blast area. Perhaps there's even a genuine mental illness, pooling beneath the surface. Also, your clever clever friend might not even be your friend. Because lies are the only truth that matters.

I read this book in the smallest, sharpest bits. The writing is smart and dense enough to make you feel the need to take many breaks for air. In fact, I kept putting it down not expecting to pick it up again. But then I did. Because I wanted to find out what happens to Della, the narrator. And I could not guess.

In many ways, Della is like the clever clever friend. But she also the victim of the clever clever friend, namely Tamara. And so the worm turns under the doom-y skies of semi-anarchy, principled but futile resistance, self-immolation, bombs, bomb threats, wars, impending bigger wars, a police state, consumerism, geophysics, hippies, veganism, and sex parties. There is a bit of a down-the-rabbit-hole feel to Della's wanderings, so unsure she is of her own footing in the world. And a kind of dog-eared sadness, too.

This is a wonderful book, which is why it pained me so much to find a littering of proofing errors around the three-quarters mark. A fault of the publisher, not the author, to be sure, but it did diminish from what otherwise is a wonderful kind of desolation.

Popular Posts