Slate asks, "What happens when literary novelists experiment with science fiction."
I answer, "Lots of wonderful things."
At first, I was into it.
The characters were interesting, had cool jobs and slick lives, but were relatably and sympathetically troubled. Then each chapter brought a new character, and it was a little hard to keep track of at first but I got the hang of it and still wanted to keep going. I appreciated the glimpses into a scene I am too young to remember, the sense of urgency and glamour, the speculation of how a more reckless age affected characters years later.
But honestly, the last chapter ruined it all for me. From a vivid, not overly romanticized reflection on the wages of time and memory, the narrative suddenly veers into a heartless indictment of present-day music, marketing, and communication. Heartless because I think the author thinks that pop culture in the present day has no heart, that it's all text message abbreviations and viral marketing schemes, and her imagined future is just the logical extension of all that. But I do not think that's true or fair to the passion and hard work and enthusiasms of the world I know. So I lost quite a bit of faith that this book's representations of the past were true or fair, either.