Writer David Kamp called Jonathan Lethem's new book a tad too parenthetical, but I'm still looking forward to reading "You Don't Love Me Yet," Lethem's Echo Park-set "rock novel." So far I have found Lethem's work to be nothing but foolproof, even if some of it does, in the future, turn out to be... parenthetical. Aaah! At least it's not glib. I loved Motherless Brooklyn, flagged a bit on the Fortress of Solitude, and I devour his short stories.
In an LA Times feature this week, the author admitted that he wasn't very familiar with Echo Park. Lethem told the Times' Josh Getlin:
"In my previous books, I paid a lot of attention to accuracy; I became the bearer of communal memories for a Brooklyn neighborhood," he said. "There was an enormous sense of wanting to get details right. But then I wanted to be irresponsible again…. I wanted to get back to the sense of play in writing fiction."
Pre-warning won't stop me, of course, from correcting his geography, mapwise or otherwise, should the occasion arise. Chicken Corner will swoop down like a hawk and set the record straight. Maybe.
Chicken Corner's staircases correspondent has counted the number of steps on public stair streets in Echo Park. The precise number is: 2,853.