A postmodernist novel reminiscent of The Crying of Lot 49, White Noise, and City of Glass that is at once a missing-person mystery, an exorcism of modern culture, and a wholly singular vision of contemporary womanhood.
Alexandra Kleeman’s brilliant and disturbing debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, is a fine heir to the tradition inaugurated by Poe, though others will undoubtedly compare her to Pynchon ... a powerful allegory of our civilization’s many maladies, artfully and elegantly articulated, by one of the young wise women of our generation.
In many ways, the world Kleeman has created is an anachronism, a particular extremity of late ’90s–early ’00s broadcast consumerism unburdened from the technological and demographic forces that would destroy it. Hers is a haunting landscape filled with the ghosts of a television-centric society that the internet has not yet punctured ... Kleeman illuminates a formless world with her remarkable talent for describing the qualities of light or taste or boredom with grace, humor, suspense, and even terror. Her prose brims with intelligence and precision.
The insidious and satiric dystopian elements of Kleeman’s story are inventive and will appeal to readers of Hubert Selby Jr.’s Requiem for a Dream, Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers, and Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story ... Given A’s intellectual paralysis, limited range of emotions, limited topics of reflection, and overwhelming and profoundly uninteresting narcissism, the novel’s nearly 200 pages of blank affect, paranoid rambling, and banal questioning of a tenuous romantic relationship make for challenging and intermittently aggravating reading ... Thankfully, in the third and final section, Kleeman drops A in a weird, lively, and marginally coherent breakneck plot.