You Don't Love Me Yet

You Don't Love Me Yet

Book - 2007
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Lucinda Hoekke plays bass in an alternative band and works at the Complaint Line listening to callers air their grievances. When she agrees to meet a frequent caller dubbed the Complainer, they fall desperately in love. She introduces him to her bandmates hoping they will find inspiration in his philosophical musings, but the Complainer insists on joining the band, with disastrous consequences for all.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Doubleday, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780385512183
038551218X
Characteristics: 223 p.

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kellibaker
Aug 14, 2012

I have read and enjoyed a lot of Jonathan Lethem's books. I tried to start this one a few years ago, but had a hard time getting into it. Some of his books start off pretty slow. This time I made myself continue it, mostly because I had nothing else to do while my son slept in my lap. It isn't my absolute favorite of his, but I did find myself enjoying it the more I read.

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vickiz
Dec 13, 2009

How interesting that author Bruce Wagner makes a fleeting cameo appearance in a party scene in Jonathan Lethem's "You Don't Love Me Yet". Lethem's slim novel about romantically adrift twenty-something Lucinda Hoekke, bass player in a fledgling alternative band, bears some resemblance to Wagner's largely Los Angeles-based collection of novels and TV and movie screenplays. The title "You Don't Love Me Yet" even echoes Wagner's "I'm Losing You", "I'll Let You Go" and "Still Holding", even though Lethem's title doesn't double as a typical telephone stock phrase/excuse. Actually, you would think he might have tried something like that, since Lucinda also answers telephones for a faux complaint line in an art installation.

Like Wagner's stories, Lethem's story is set in Los Angeles. His characters stumble (usually under the influence of one toxin or another) through the same decadent, emotionally parched terrain on the fringes of stardom, seeking and usually not finding professional, artistic or personal validation or fulfillment. While Wagner's stories have Dickensian complexity, Lethem at least musters some Dickensian names - influential radio host Fancher Autumnbreast is a favourite - but isn't able to match Wagner's absorbing depth and insight, with one exception. Lethem's characters are unsympathetic to a person, and their connections with each other don't ring true, particularly Lucinda's inexplicable and messy hookup with an enigmatic crafter of slogans that she meets when he starts calling the complaint line. The one exception is that Lethem captures vibrantly the alchemy of how individual musicians collaborate and cohere to make beautiful music.

sit_walk Nov 02, 2009

I suffered through the first few pages but unlike most of Lethem's other novels, this one didn't grab me in the slightest.

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