Somewhat after the Kafka phrase: ‘A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.’
On the sentence level, the novel is correct, immaculate, hard to put down. But it lacks a certain... I mean, through all the clever meta-isms, and the way he spells coördinate, where’s the story?
I want to like it, to like him: he seems nice. But when I get in my little reading window, crammed in on the train, I don't want to be thinking, Oh wit! Oh writing!
I want to be taken, transported, staggered. I want the immersive world, full of horror. Take me to the concentration camp to watch the bony bodies. I want to feel like one of them, to mainline gratitude for this normalcy.
Enough of your flaff-flaff! Give me the story. Look at the people on the train, crammed in, on their way to work. Read about the people on the train, crammed in, on their way to — oh.
Much is lost to posturing, but in the middle there are some archival photographs.