Monday, August 11, 2008

Peace, Love and Literary Understanding

All The Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen
The novel follows three men (Keith, Sam and Mark) as they try and achieve their dreams of becoming literary giants. The three protagonists are well-rounded, well-educated, and well-read young men approaching the landmark age of 30. They're unhappy with the political climate, unhappy with their Google ranking, and generally indecisive about love.
Three men, three stories- yet I would have preferred more disparity between these anti-heroes (I had to keep back tracking to remind myself who was who). Gessen has moments of brilliance and the characters are very believable, but the historical references that Gessen is so fond of just didn't connect with me. One critic suggested that Sad Young Literary Men is essentially "sex in the city for men". I can see the similarities (three lads looking for love in New York), but something darker, more pensive, and intellectual lurks within these three characters.

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