I had read a great little article on LitHub.com about this new novel from Eugene Lim and went to seek it out. Soon after I had acquired it from a wonderful bookstore in the West Village, I read in the Astoria Bookshop newsletter that the author was going to be there just a few days later, as he is a Queens resident like myself. Small world.
Sadly I was not able to make the reading/appearance but enjoyed the novel, a short but lofty story that is both a touching story of two Asian American friends but also a book peppered with social commentary, societal observations and the importance of protest.
The author says a lot in this sparse novel, every word bearing importance. His approach jumps around in time and even introduces toward the end, a "book within the book" that may or may not be the key to seeing the future and a key to time travel. Anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with any 'book within' be it a novel, film or television series, so that was a nice treat. (The Philosophy of Time Travel, anyone?)
There were several times while reading that made me stop and think, about life, about our world and how we go about living. Sometimes the story left me wanting more or slightly frustrated, and aren't those all of the things a good book is supposed to do anyway?
I've made a mental note to remember Eugene Lim and seek out his future work, which I think will be worth the trip.
And he lives in Queens, so you know he's alright.