Friday, April 24, 2009


I first heard about You or the Invention of Memory via NY Mag's Vulture blog, where Jonathan Baumbach was giving a reading. I googled, and found out that his publicist was giving out free copies of his book if you emailed her, so I went for it. Didn't get the chance to read it until I was in Belize.

The interesting thing about You is that it opens in a seemingly second person (though really, it's a first person just speaking to an unnamed "you"). In this intro, the narrator explains that this book is basically about some woman he's loved in his life.

What follows are several chapters of different possibilities of how the narrator and the anonymous woman meet, carry out, and end their romance. After a few of these, there is then sudden shift into explaining it from the POV of the woman who is supposedly the author's love.

I liked the concept behind the book, but it verged on being a tad too post-modern for me. I found myself wanting to know how things really happened, but even with the POV of the woman at the end, I found myself confused by the details.

Nevertheless, it was interesting, and I liked reading about all the incarnations a relationship can take, when ultimately it simply boils down to the love that one person can't forget throughout his lifetime.

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