Strange and kind of great new novel by Jenny Davidson (who, for full information’s sake, is someone I’ve known on and off since college) about young intellectuals who believe in the power of text more than is perhaps good for them. “Text” here means books, as you’d expect, but also text-as-in-texting and chat windows and games. A lot of the dialogue is in an interestingly distant Delmore Schwartz register. It reads strangely at first but makes sense once you get used to it.
What I liked best is this. The book gestures at being one of those in which real life gives way to the fantastic, but ends up insisting (correctly, I think!) that when the fantastic intrudes into ordinary life, it does not replace ordinary life but rather overlays it — so that one can have the most heightened and extrawordly experience possible, and then go home, with the smell of it still on you, and check your e-mail and brush your teeth. It is a novel for the world of Google Glass, and should be read whether or not the world of Google Glass turns out to be our world.