I got nothing. I usually locate a spark quickly when I scan a new issue of the New York Times Book Review: something to love, something to hate, something to correct, something to mock. I scanned every article in this weekend’s Book Review singing that same refrain from a now-forgotten hiphop tune from the last decade — what’s the hook gonna be? I give up. There’s just nothing to write about here.
This doesn’t mean the articles in this issue are badly written. If they were, you know I’d go to town and have a ball. Instead, Dalia Sofer competently summarizes what’s good about The Disappeared, a love story set amidst the horrors of the 1970s Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. I’m not attracted enough to search out the book. Curtis Sittenfeld is moderately satisfied by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, the follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love. Joseph Salvatore explains the plot to the latest Douglas Coupland whatever, Generation A, which involves a world without bumblebees, and I’m just bored.
The strangest news found in this bland issue is the fact that Gail Godwin’s new novel Unfinished Desires features a character named Maud Norton. As the Kenan and Kel guy from Saturday Night Live might say, “What’s up with that?” Reviewer Dominique Browning doesn’t even engage this question, though, and this is where my dull encounter with the latest New York Times Book Review ends. Next week better bring some more excitement or I’m finding another job.