... incendiary ... the book boldly, pungently and incisively chronicles sexual misadventures, artistic ambitions and a drastic decline ... This is a novel full of colorful and candid characters who are eager to speak their minds and quick to flaunt their oddities. Through three markedly different voices, Wolff examines gender power play ... Not all hangs together, and even less makes sense. But Wolff’s constant supply of fire, bite and wit are compelling forces that propel us through all three of her riotous acts.
Wolff obviously has something to say, vividly demonstrating that even the white heterosexual man's perspective is entirely built up on the oppression and exploitation of others (specifically women here) ... Wolff is sharp and sly with her flawed figures ... an amusing take on modern life (literary and otherwise) and relationships between the sexes. If not a contra-Houellebecq, so at least Wolff suggests Houellebecq is the contemporary male template, with both her main male protagonists followers of the French master -- a blind alley/dead end street whose temptations are nevertheless too hard for Ruben and Max to resist. Yet Wolff's female figures also have their flaws and weaknesses, from Lucrezia harping on her physical ones to their uneasy relationships with various men in their lives ... All in all it makes for an interesting polychromatic fiction, a surprisingly ebullient story -- carried along nicely by Wolff's entertaining and easygoing presentation -- in a cleverly structured novel, its three separate parts neatly coming together by the end. It's certainly enjoyable reading.