You Donít Love Me Yet is easy to love
By
J. Gordon
4/19/2007 10:03:52 AM

If youíve ever worked in the music business--at a club, in the media, with a record label, radio station, or in a band--the characters in Jonathan Lethemís You Donít Love Me Yet [Doubleday] are going to feel like close friends.

Take Lucinda, the slightly over-sexed, job-hopping bass player of a band thatís not really good enough to have a name, let alone play out or make a record. She leaves her coffee house day-job to work a performance art job as a telephone operator on a complaint line, where she falls in love with a cranky old complainer. Then, thereís Matthew, Lucindaís on-again, off-again boyfriend and the bandís frontman, whose main talent is looking really, really cool. Thatís when heís not stealing kangaroos from the LA Zoo.

Next, thereís Bedwin, the socially-inept genius of the band, as well as nerd/guitarist/songwriter who forgets to eat and fears standing up when he performs. Bedwinís cared for like a child primarily by Denise, the drummer mother of the band who keeps everyone on time being sure theyíre fed, sober, and at practice when they should be. Oh yea, and her day job is at a Ďmasturbation boutique.í

With Lucinda operating as this bookís protagonist, You Donít Love Me Yet is a quick, fun read taking us through obsessive relationships, sexual abandon, radio and art culture phoniness, secrets of coolness, near-success and yes, even true love.

Lethemís prose really shows off his years in music journalism and his personal love for the stuff as a total fan. Interspersed throughout the story are fake lyricsógiving just enough to get the (oftentimes hilarious) idea of a song, without overdoing with lines and lines of cheesy rhyme or show-off poetry as so many other writers might be tempted to do.

A must read for anyone currently or formerly in the scene, and a playful heads-up for anyone whoís contemplating joining it.

 

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