The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem – Book Review

Things stop working. Phones, TVs, cars… guns. Eventually, and seemingly for no reason, everything just stops. Society is flung back to a time with almost no technology (things like bikes seem to be ok). Sandy, previously a screenwriter in Hollywood, has found himself living on the edges of the society his sister has created. He is the mailman, and all seems to have got itself set into a groove until his old co-worker, Todbaum, appears in a mysterious vehicle that he has built and travelled across the country in.

I loved Motherless Brooklyn, recommended by a mate. So when I saw that Lethem had a new book, and it was a dystopian novel set after the downfall of society, I got very excited. And then I read it and was so disappointed. It was confusing, I could cope with the structure, and I had my head around the world of this new society. But the characters were all awful, I didn’t see the point, and the big event at the end was so confusing that I had to re-read it several times, only to come to the conclusion that I didn’t really know quite what had happened. I just despised reading this. It hasn’t put me off Lethem as an author, but it has made me cautious.

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