Saturday, November 23, 2013

"BTW" By Jarett Kobek

Penny-Ante Editions ISBN: 978-0-9855085-6-2
I like books that are about books and its readers, and Jarett Kobek's novel is very much in that it's a love of literature filtered through the narration of sort-of young people in love within the  magnificent landscape, that is Los Angeles.  Or perhaps they're not in love, but individuals struggling to communicate or at the very least to articulate their unhappiness among the streets of Los Angeles. 

There is a strong situationist aspect with respect to the understanding of a city by the way of  the main character's dealings with his placement in Los Angeles and how the others fit in the landscape as well.  It is a very nice readable cocktail  of thought, action, and looking at the world through Victorian literature among other things. 

The one figure that stands out in this narrative is the father of the main character, who is profound and hysterical at the same time.  Also his advice is quite good, considering that he sees the world in a very specific light.  The relationship between son and father is pretty solid, but of course there are many bumps on the road that disrupts the two.  Jarett Kobek previous two books "If You Won't Read, Then Why Should I Write?" and "ATTA"  were major reads for me this year, and "BTW" easily follows in that grouping.   Ah good times.

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