Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Comedy of errors

In Nobody Does the Right Thing, a quick, breezy novel-sub-novella from Vassar English professor Amitava Kumar, readers are taken through an immense, continuous, and oftentimes painfully ongoing comedy of errors. Well, sort of. Actually, I’ve reread Nobody Does the Right Thing twice now, and still am finding myself thoroughly unable to grasp just exactly what Kumar, in so many ways, is trying to sputter out here, with this particular story and these particular people.

As with most epic tales of woe, lust, and loss, the premise sounds enticingly delicious (and perhaps even just a bit decadent) on paper, but what ends up being carried out on the actual pieces of paper betwixt the book’s thin spine falls disappointingly flat, boasting few true instances of thick, meaty substance. It’s a real shame, too; stories that encompass the elements of murder, sex, infidelity, and the press don’t usually sport the problem of being uninteresting, but somehow, Nobody Does the Right Thing manages to hit all the wrong notes when the correct ones were so near to the fingertips of the player.

Full report here Bookslut

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