No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood [9/10]

No One Is Talking About This” immediately thrusts the reader into the world of a social media “influencer,” an unidentified woman fully immersed in what she calls the “portal.” In a manner reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s wonderful Something Happened, the first half of the novel riffs and riffs on our hero’s bizarre yet instantly recognizable life, more an online life than a real one, and then, with the impact of a lightning bolt, switches to a new existence rendered real by a tragic event. Nothing in the first fascinating pages prepares the reader for the wrenching tale that then ensues, and when the dust settles, the final uneasy juxtaposition between Trumpian, quotidian existence and the internet world a click away is unforgettable. Patricia Lockwood is a superb, poetic stylist with an unerring eye for both the banalities and the profundities of the modern world. No One Is Talking About This postures as experimental fiction, and readers need to be patient, but, please, stick with it, for I predict this novel will remain a mainstay for years to come.

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