It’s been a while since a book has left me with that feeling (you know when it gives you butterflies in your tummy and makes you think about changing the world etc), and I have no one to talk to about books so thought I’d try and commit to actually writing a blog instead. I’m not very good at reviews apart from ”I can’t really explain it, but it was really good”, so we’ll just try it and see what happens.
”Your Fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?” is by the literary genius that is Dave Eggers (apart from when he did The Circle, which had a really good concept, but ultimately was 300 pages too long and died a slow and painful death towards the end). Really he should have put those 300 words into this book instead, but never mind.
Anyway so it’s basically a critical analysis of contemporary American society (pre-Trump tbf) and mostly explores political/moral/religious decline and power structures etc, but also I think maybe says a lot about conceptions of (alienated) masculinity in the post-feminist world. Raised lots of questions about state accountability and responsibility – especially when thinking about how, I guess because of the way the news and stuff is reported maybe, bad things that happen all the time (police brutality, child sexual abuse etc) become almost mundane? Or normal? Read the book, I dunno. The narrative is made up entirely of dialogue, which I wasn’t sure about at first, but I was trapped on a thirteen hour flight and the headphones were too big for my head so I couldn’t watch any films properly and I didn’t really have a choice. I’m glad I did read it though, because it was really good and I actually lolled a lot at all the nihilism and it just kind of felt really real and authentic. A really simple and effective little book (like me) with like six characters in one building, but it worked really really well and just go and read it, it’s like 200 pages long.
The structure of the writing actually made me think it would make a really, really good film (and because it’s only dialogue there’s no chance of missing any of the good bits), so I produced and directed the entire film in my head while I read it. In an ideal world, Jason Reitman would probably produce it, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Thomas, Alison Janney as his mum, J.K. Simmons as the congressman and Matt Damon as the astronaut (because Matt Damon). I guess it would be like a dark comedy, but in a sort of American Beauty or American Psycho cynical sort of way. Maybe a Netflix original job though.
I think my jet lag is kicking in because it’s getting really hard to keep my eyes open and I keep forgetting how to spell everything, but if you want an easy but interesting little read that you can do in one sitting then I think this is my new go-to recommendation. Challenged my little perspective on stuff like gender and mental health and politics and life etc (be super interesting to get a male perspective on it), dunno just go and read it so we can talk about it afterwards ok.