Title: YOU DON'T LOVE ME YET - Scarce Pristine Copy...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Doubleday, 2007
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 224 pages. Published in 2007. The author's seventh novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. The brilliant DJ design by Jennifer Ann Daddio (the author is always closely involved in the production of his books) shows the then completely unknown, 24-year-old Jonathan Lethem looking very much like his novel's protagonist. Presents Jonathan Lethem's "You Don't Love Me Yet". His tribute to rock music and its resonances with his youth. Lethem temporarily leaves his beloved Brooklyn behind and moves to Los Angeles in his beguiling comic novel about a girl, a boy, their band, and a sea of hipsters. The band doesn't have a name, hasn't played any shows (yet), and has a handful of lyric-less songs. "Lucinda takes a job on the side in an installation-art piece in which random callers register complaints. Lucinda takes an arousing, near-feral rumination about seducing women to Bedwin, the band's savant song-crafter, and the result sounds uncannily like a hit. Lethem understands the pathology of a great pop song (familiar emotional depth masked by clever wordplay and some saccharine hooks), and gamely re-creates it in novel form. The result is lithe and perceptive" (Ian Chipman). Comic novels are very hard to write well (like great comic films). They navigate the minefields of irony, satire, and parody, that is to say, of the bittersweet, "neither-here-nor-there" truth about our lives, and are therefore either easily dismissed or worse, completely misunderstood (like Woody Allen's great films). Lethem is one of very few adepts of both High and Low American cultures, and here, he plumbs the depths of the contemporary rock n' roll scene but, unlike most other writers' forays (notably the talented and very knowledgeable David Foster Wallace's) into the same territory, he does not wallow or drown in it. An absolute "must-have" title for Jonathan Lethem collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Jonathan Lethem. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. His signature fills up the page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Lethem did not do a national tour for the book. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Crawford Award for Best Fantasy Novel and the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1994 for "Gun, with Occasional Music". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999 for "Motherless Brooklyn". Selected as one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the New York Times in 2003 for "Fortress of Solitude". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2005. One of the most brilliant new voices in American literature. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JONATHAN LETHEM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 038551218X. Bookseller Inventory # 11684
From the incomparable Jonathan Lethem, a raucous romantic farce that explores the paradoxes of love and art
Lucinda Hoekke spends eight hours a day at the Complaint Line, listening to anonymous callers air their random grievances. Most of the time, the work is excruciatingly tedious. But one frequent caller, who insists on speaking only to Lucinda, captivates her with his off-color ruminations and opaque self-reflections. In blatant defiance of the rules, Lucinda and the Complainer arrange a face-to-face meeting?and fall desperately in love.
Consumed by passion, Lucinda manages only to tear herself away from the Complainer to practice with the alternative band in which she plays bass. The lead singer of the band is Matthew, a confused young man who works at the zoo and has kidnapped a kangaroo to save it from ennui. Denise, the drummer, works at No Shame, a masturbation boutique. The band?s talented lyricist, Bedwin, conflicted about the group?s as-yet-nonexistent fame, is suffering from writer?s block. Hoping to recharge the band?s creative energy, Lucinda ?suggests? some of the Complainer?s philosophical musings to Bedwin. When Bedwin transforms them into brilliant songs, the band gets its big break, including an invitation to appear on L.A.?s premiere alternative radio show. The only problem is the Complainer. He insists on joining the band, with disastrous consequences for all.
Brimming with satire and sex, You Don?t Love Me Yet is a funny and affectionate send-up of the alternative band scene, the city of Los Angeles, and the entire genre of romantic comedy, but remains unmistakably the work of the inimitable Jonathan Lethem.
Review: With his sixth novel, You Don't Love Me Yet, Jonathan Lethem continues to show off his dexterity with the form, following up the coming-of-age epic The Fortress of Solitude with a dreamlike, comic portrait of the Los Angeles art scene. Lethem craftily sets up his ruse with a letter of complaint from Falmouth Strand (a seemingly minor character) who warns us that the book we are about to read completely misrepresents the truth. Falmouth is a former installation artist who has turned from sculpting objects to "manipulating people's despair, pensiveness, ennui." For his latest project, he has posted signs around Los Angeles: "Complaints? Call 213 291 7778." The novel centers around Lucinda (the perfect, unwitting instrument for Falmouth's manipulation), a bass player in a would-be indie rock quartet with nearly enough good songs for a 35-minute set (if you don't count the two they don't like anymore). Lucinda has vowed to stop sleeping with the band's lead singer Matthew (for real, this time), launching a search for true love as drunken and misguided as the band's search for a decent name. She abandons her upscale barista gig to answer complaint calls for Falmouth's conceptual art piece. Before long, she finds herself drawn to a regular whose curious words are "like a pulse detected in a vast dead carcass" of daily complaints. By way of Lucinda, the "genius" complainer's words spark the band's next song, setting them on a shaky upward trajectory all too familiar in the art world. Various characters want (or don't want) to take credit for the song's apparent success, but who deserves it? The complainer who nonchalantly rattled off the words, Lucinda who wrote them down, the remaining band members who collaboratively put them to music, or Falmouth himself, who passively engineered the whole thing?
Fans of Fortress and Motherless Brooklyn may find this novel's levity too drastic a shift, but even though Lethem is having a great time here with wordplay, a motley cast, and Lucinda's sexual meanderings, You Don't Love Me Yet is anything but a simple entertainment. He plays with our notions of art and authorship, enjoying a bit of advanced cribbery himself as he experiments with Shakespearean antics and inexplicable love match-ups. At every turn, Lethem seems to be asking sticky questions: Can anyone create the consummate intersection of dream, desire, and reality that art (and great sex) embodies? Will it last, and should it? Can any one writer capture that moment with a few meager words? If they did, how long would it take for it to be reduced to meaningless slogan? --Heidi Broadhead
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