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Esquire
Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
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You Don't Love Me Yet Signed 1st Edition

by Jonathan Lethem

You've Got To Hear This

A review by Snowden Wright

Everybody loves discovering a new band. It's about bragging you knew them first. It's about personally fueling the fame engine. It's about being in the know. And now, it's the subject of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, You Don't Love Me Yet.

The short novel, more coffeehouse act than stadium concert, follows Lucinda Hoekke, complaint line operator by day, bass guitarist by night. As Lucinda's band is discovered and then forgotten, and as her love life becomes more farce than reality, the novel delves into the differences between temporary success and long-term achievement, both in love and in music. This is definitely lighter territory for Lethem, whose last novel, The Fortress of Solitude, screamed Epic Proportions and Serious Ambition. But sometimes not taking yourself so seriously is a good thing. In this case it yields a novel that is a hilarious romp through the Los Angeles art scene and a shrewd parody of modern love.

Though Lethem's reputation is already established, his voice is still so fresh and urgent that you might think you've found a great new talent. In fact, reading You Don't Love Me Yet is a lot like discovering a band -- picking up the Yeah Yeah Yeahs first EP, or Radiohead's Pablo Honey. You'll want to tell your friends to run out and buy the book. When they love it you can take credit for "discovering" Lethem first.


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