peteg's blog

Marcy Dermansky: The Red Car.

/noise/books | Link

Kindle. If this is chick lit, perhaps I should read more of it. Dermansky breathlessly concatenates a series of events that levers a self-doubting writer out of her early 30s awfulness in Queens, where she got hitched to Austrian fellow-writer Hans for visa reasons, and back to her Californian mid 20s. The cast from about that time reassembles and there is sometimes the opportunity for a doing-over. The car of the title is somewhat lethal, and its ultimate fate involving a Japanese beauty flicked the switch a little too neatly to Murakami for my tastes. Dermansky does a good job with the characters, though most of the male ones feel predatory, a tad vacuous, a bit underdrawn, as is perhaps her intention given that her femmes are hypersensitive to their attention. Are the narrator's contradictory thoughts a matter of tense, or of not making the right or sufficiently fine distinctions? Somehow it's not irritating when Dermansky does it.

Daniel Handler at the New York Times.