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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Nothing Serious » User review

Seriously good satire

  • Mar 22, 2013
Rating:
+4
What happens to the predictor of trends when predictions become out of date before the papers go to press? What happens to immortality when time moves too fast? And what happens when a modern upstart takes over a stodgy university journal of philosophy?
Digby ponders whether finding a job with an Independent Philosophy Magazine might be the perfect solution to his financial woes, though “What exactly would a dependent philosophy magazine consist of?” he muses. Still, it’s a job, and Digby needs a job. It even holds out the possibility of redeeming his career, reviving his immortal fame, and giving him a place to live while he, perhaps, redefines who is living his life.
Of course, the place Dibgy moves to abounds with rumors and questions. Why did he get the job instead of someone more qualified? What curious revelation did the magazine’s owner have just before he died? And who’s trying to get their hands on Hastings Towers? Not to mention, why?
Well-drawn, nicely analytical backstory threads into the narrative while the reader stays firmly entrenched in Digby’s head—at least as much Digby himself stays in his head. Fascinating snippets of philosophy pop up, mixed with pop culture references and vivid satire, all blended like an ideal “toke” and smoked to perfection. While Nietzsche may declare “There are no facts, only interpretations,” Digby’s interpretations draw closer to fact as the story progesses, and the mystery to resolution, though, of course, as time moves on the answers might not matter as much as they seemed. Meanwhile there’s a magazine to put out, and dead owners might seek immortality in its pages.
Events move forward to a delicious denouement, immortality retreats in face of identity, and Digby, just maybe, finally works out who he and everyone else is. Or maybe not. The perfect epilogue ties it all together, but please resist the urge to read it first.
Disclosure: I received a free bound galley of this novel from the publisher, the Permanent Press, in exchange for my honest review.

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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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"Klein's second existential novel is as thought-provoking asThe History of Now(2009), with a heavier dose of sharp, witty humor. Klein is a master of relevant social commentary, and his background as a writer of both mysteries and philosophy is clearly evident, resulting in an exceptional story sprinkled with philosophical overtones and rounded out with the perfect amount of symbolism and allegory." --Booklist, Starred Review

Klein creates a tightly plotted comedic tale with a genuine emotional center and a sharp satirical wit. He lambastes in equal measure the politically correct pieties of academia and the hyper-trend-conscious attitudes of New York hipsters. Beneath the scabrous humor there is a genuine love for all humanity. The title is a big clue. In the end, the title says it all. The pursuit of happiness involves to some degree the ability to not take things seriously.Nothing Seriousis a short sweet novel, equal parts intellect and comedy-perfect to read on vacation or as a palate-cleanser for more heavy handed fare." --NY Journal of Books

Klein creates a tightly plotted comedic tale with a genuine emotional center and a sharp satirical wit. He lambastes in equal measure the politically correct pieties of academia and the hyper-trend-conscious attitudes of New York hipsters. Beneath the scabrous humor there is a genuine love for all humanity. The title is a big clue. In the end, the title says it all. The pursuit of happiness involves to some degree the ...
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