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You Don't Love Me Yet (Vintage Contemporaries)

2.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,897 Ratings  ·  587 Reviews
Bestselling author Jonathan Lethem delivers a hilarious novel about love, art, and what it's like to be young in Los Angeles. Lucinda Hoekke's daytime gig as a telephone operator at the Complaint Line—an art gallery's high-minded installation piece—is about as exciting as listening to dead air. Her real passion is playing bass in her forever struggling, forever unnamed ban ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jul 29, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, audio
Audio book experiment II failed.

I am pretty sure this book would have blown even if I had read it on the page. I listened to it while driving back and forth to Santa Clara from my home office for a project I was working on. I was sick of my iPod so I thought I'd try audio books. (I have since learned from friend recommendations and personal experience that it is not the best idea to listen to fiction while driving.)

Anyway, as far as I could surmise, this book is about a young band trying to brea
Apr 23, 2012 Caris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2012
And you know what, title? I don’t think I’m going to.

I’ve gone back and forth with myself the past few days trying to determine whether this book was really good or really bad. My initial thoughts (and the ones that were reinforced by reading) pushed me toward the latter. But I was on the fence. So I had a look at what other people said about it.

Almost unanimously, this book is hated by the fine people of Goodreads. 2.72 average stars. For a mainstream author with a kajillion reviews, that’s so
Sep 04, 2013 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After days of marinating in the text of Women and Men, reading this short Lethem book (which is basically a L.A. based romcom) felt like hitting golf balls on the moon. I had forgotten what it was like to turn pages often enough to numb my index finger. Sweet, sweet dialogue and pages with less than 600 words.

I keed, I keed because I really like Lethem. Whatever the subject matter he can make his characters real, relatable and even fun(ny). Conversations aren't forced, discussions end properly a
Jason Pettus
Jul 16, 2007 Jason Pettus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)

Longtime followers of my creative projects know that in general I don't like publishing bad reviews; that for the most part I see it as a waste of both my time and yours, in that I could be spending that time instead pointing out great artists you may have never heard of. However, since one of the things this website is dedicated to is honest artistic criticism, I also feel it's important to acknowledge books th
Nov 23, 2007 jeremy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
no, i most certainly do not, and if you keep writing like this, i never will. reads like an overreaching first attempt at fiction. the only thing worse than whiny hipsters is an entire novel about them. the only thing worse than that, is a poorly written one.
Jill Golden
Sep 09, 2007 Jill Golden rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one.
I loved Motherless Brooklyn and Lethem's book of essays, The Disappointment Artist. You Don't Love Me, Yet, however, has almost ruined my faith in contemporary fiction. Because I don't want to spend more time writing about this book than I have to, I will list some of the things about it that annoyed me:

1) The Characters' Names:
Falmouth Strand
FANCHER AUTUMNBREAST (I actually had to stop reading for a few days after that one)

2) The contrived sex that made me never want to have sex
Nov 18, 2008 Trin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god. I’m actually shocked that a book by a respected author like Lethem could be this bad. Because it is so bad. It’s full of whiny, painfully hipstery characters with names like Fancher Autumnbreast tooling around a fake L.A. that makes no geographical sense (even less than the real L.A., I mean) and having lots of deeply unpleasant-sounding sex that made me lock my legs at the knee as I read. Fine. That’s just bad. But what launches this book into the stratosphere of shockingly, appallin ...more
Oct 29, 2008 Gabriel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no.
Man, I heard this was not great, but I didn't really expect it to suck THAT much. I figured I'd give him the benefit of the doubt since he's written some things I loved, especially the . Oh well. At least it was short.

Overwrought prose, boring and/or unlikeable characters, not to mention the ever-dangerous task of writing about music and not sounding like a total douche.

Upon reading some of the other reviews I felt I should add that I don't have any problem reading about hipsters or sympathizing
Apr 16, 2008 Ryan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like bad period pieces.
Recommended to Ryan by: myself
I would hate if my boss always compared my successes to my failures. Luckily my boss doesn't. If he did, I would quit. What he usually says when I make a mistake is 'Ryan, you screwed up, don't do it again'. Unfortunately most of Jonathan Lethem's readers don't give him that much respect. As an author of tremendous talent, he constantly gets compared to his greatest works. A comparison that is a waste to both the author and to any critical reader.

That said, at its best YOU DON'T LOVE ME YET is l
Jenni  Lunde
I saw this book and immediately knew I'd hate it as something from the pretentious "Rent" vein. But it was on my required reading list, and school begins soon, so I picked it up and read it all in a sitting, and am now ready to digest it.

If I read it all in one sitting, it couldn't have been that bad—right? Wrong. I just wanted to get it over with. The basic premise is this: a struggling band of slightly (but no more than that) misfit characters gets their big break via an inspirational (somewha
May 18, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flower Sniffin, Kitty Pettin', Baby Kissin' Corporate Rock Whores.
I actually dont see what Lethem could have done to make people happy with this book. All the reviews here pretty much slate it but I think it was written as a conscious detachment from Motherless Brooklyn/Fortress of Solitude and offers a nice relief. A bit more of a disposable pop riff than a layered, carefully constructed piece of art like his other two most famous books. Yes the characters are hateable, and yes the plot meanders a bit but if anyone out there has actually moved in band circles ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Ben rated it liked it
I adore Jonathan Lethem. Ever since Gun, with Occasional Music, he's remained one of my favorite authors. His science fiction was fascinating and stylish and, though I was tepid about it, his shift to traditional fiction kept much of the flair and panache of previous work. To me, Lethem is what happens when you take Chuck Palahniuk and add literary talent.

You Don't Love Me Yet is a clever book. Though the book's main character is the bassist for a band, the true star of the novel is the Complain
Jan 23, 2012 Cflack rated it did not like it
Pretentious and ultimately extremely annoying. The names of the characters alone was enough to make me dislike this book. But ultimately I didn't like this book because other than Bedwin, who was a fairly minor character (see, what did I tell you about the names) there was not one believable character in this book. It's not just that most of the characters were unlikable - that is neither here nor there, it was just they were such empty stereotypes of music and art hipsters. Maybe this book was ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Raquel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Han pasado tres años al menos desde que leí esta novela. Tres años y, todavía, me acuerdo de ella espontáneamente de tanto en tanto. Eso no es poca cosa, creo, porque son pocos los libros que evoco sin tener que concentrarme, y aún menos los que recomiendo constantemente. "¿Que quieres leer una novela de rock? ¡Prueba esta!", digo por aquí. "¿Una historia donde haya atmósferas nostálgicas y animales fuera de lugar? ¡Esta, esta!", digo por allá.
No voy a contar la trama, no tiene caso (seguro vien
Jul 08, 2012 Sage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that made me fall in love with Jonathan Lethem, I had read some of his writing before this, but this was what really sent me on the quest to devour everything he has ever written. Having now read all of Lethem's novels, most of his short stories, and a good amount of his non-fiction, this is still one of my favorites.
This book effected me physically, it gave me this tingly feeling as I read it. This is by far Lethem's sexiest novel, I've never wanted to fuck an author so badly a
Feb 09, 2013 kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a Christmas present, so let me first congratulate myself for reading it so soon after receiving it. Believe me, this is rare.

The cover is kind of cool. I like books with attractive covers. 1988 excites me because I wish I were my current age during that year. Lucinda Hoekke happens to be my current age, in that year, is allegedly hot, and in a band.

I envied Lucinda until she started having sexathon benders with a fat, hairy, old man. Which began at approximately page 65. I had to take
Sara Habein
Aug 07, 2010 Sara Habein rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Jonathan Lethem’s work, and I believe that this novel is meant to be satire on love and fledgling rock bands. He has a way with describing things that paint a clear picture, and I do appreciate that he takes an unflinching approach to relationships of all kinds. Still, this didn’t make me like the characters any more. While I certainly know people like those in this book, providing some amusement, those people tend to annoy me. The clothes, the self-inflicted haircuts, grand conve ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Christen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this two and a half stars if Goodreads would let me.

I chose this in a far more hurried manner than usual. I was in the airport, knew I was likely to finish my book in flight, and knew I'd need something to get me through the rest of the trip. I dashed into the mini-Powell's at the airport, ran my eyes over the Literary Fiction/Classics section, saw Lethem's name, though, "Hey, I've heard good things and been meaning to check him out," and arbitrarily picked this from among the titles of
May 07, 2013 Bjorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Jonathan Lethem always wrote books in much the same way that Yo La Tengo make music; a reference here, an influence there, an irresistably charming fusion of twee pop, disco, free jazz and aggressive punk. Or in Lethem's case, some pop cultural journalism, some Austerian New York/Brooklyn, some satire, some Woody Allen sex and characters just overdone enough to be both funny and believable. All of it ever so slightly transparent so that you can see the layers underneath where he tries to work ou ...more
Dec 17, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Easily Lethem's worst book to date. Sure, it's still enjoyable, but would I say it's worth your time? Nope. It starts off so promising, inside of a rock band, with its break ups and makeups, its poor decisions and failure to start. They still haven't played their first show, though they are nearing thirty, they still don't have a name and work crappy part time jobs. Then there is a mysterious caller and a kangaroo and the book gets wild. I was prepared to love this, but it didn't work.

Why doesn'
Jan 16, 2009 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The "Hip" and "Clever"
A disappointing outing from the normally transcendent Jonathan Lethem, clever (oh is it clever!) but never actually engaging. It's about a bunch of twenty-something kids in a band that blow that one chance to make it big, probably because they're all too damn clever for their own goods.

It's not that this is a bad idea, or that Lethem doesn't demonstrate the necessary affection for his characters to make them lovable. It's that the whole book smacks of trying too hard. The characters are all "in
Mar 08, 2009 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read about 30 pages of the novel and I liked it, so I was surprised by all the negative reaction. Having finished the book, I now understand. I thought it was going to be a bleak, black satire of Los Angeles and art school rock bands (Waugh in Echo Park), but it evolves into an effort to make these characters likeable and explicable. Much time is wasted on the inner workings of the band--choosing the band's name, the order of songs to play at a gig (Flight of the Conchords makes this stuff wor ...more
Laura Rittenhouse
This book has such beautiful prose. I LOVED Jonathan's writing style. He used enough non-standard descriptions to keep me interested in the writing just for the feel of it.

The story was a bit unusual. I'm not sure I quite loved that. It's a standard story about a 29 year old woman in a bit of a personal crisis, looking for love, generally in the wrong places. I have to admit that I could spot this was written by a man. I'm not sure why he didn't make the main character male so that wouldn't have
Thor Balanon
Aug 27, 2015 Thor Balanon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meandering mumblecore fiction that when you pull away shows how art and music influence each other, and how it could all be wonderful and absurd if we're stuck between these two.
Feb 09, 2016 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"You Don't Love Me Yet" is at times a well written book, and even has moments where it is very well written. Unfortunately the story was just not all that interesting to me. I believe the main reason for this was because I was bored and irritated by the main character, a woman named Lucinda who is, to put it succinctly, a very lame person. She is wishy washy, selfish, and more than a little dumb. I get that this was the point, I just did not care for it, and thus the book fell very flat.
The stor
Amo i colori acidi, mi piace indossarli, soprattutto il verde acido; ricordo ancora quando a trent'anni andavo a ballare all'Alien con la mia amica Donatella: avevo un collant verde ramarro - acido, ovviamente - che indossavo con un paio di short minigonna grigio ardesia, completamente in contrasto con me, con una parte di me, che invece pi convenzionale e neutra, dai capelli al trucco.

Al contrario ho un brutto rapporto con l'Arte concettuale e con l'Arte Contemporanea in genere (tranne luminos
Apr 06, 2008 Aimee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wasteoftime
Although several fellow Goodreaders gave this "novel" low marks, I thought I'd give it a go, as the basic storyline sounded amusing. What a disappointment, especially after Motherless Brooklyn. The characters are annoying, self-absorbed, and one-dimensional. The story is equally uninspiring--Ennui in a half-hearted, Tragically Hip band. In the book, the band struggles to find a name, which aptly fits the aimlessness of the book and its protagonist. An appropriate name would have been "Void".
Jul 24, 2015 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Jonathan Lethem fan from a distance. I've always got on much more with the idea of a pop culture-savvy literary writer than the reality of it; a short story from The Paris Review I read a year or so ago didn't amount to much, and You Don't Love Me Yet is the first of Lethem's full-length works I've actually sat down with.

It's not bad. It's just there's not a whole lot there. It's the bones of a story without any real meat on it. Actually, it feels more like the bones of several different s
Oct 23, 2014 Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did I enjoy this book?

Am I an insane Lethem completest?

If my boat was sinking would I throw this one overboard if it meant I could save Chronic City, Fortress of Solitude or Motherless Brooklyn?
most definitely.
Feb 09, 2014 Bridget rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lethem completists
Shelves: rocknroll
I very much judged this book by it's cover. The title is great and the cover art even on my ARC is compelling enough with shades of Barbara Kruger that when I found this at a library sale, I pounced on it.
I've never read Lethem before though a first edition hardback of the Fortress of Solitude has been sitting on my TBR shelf since it was released.
I generally enjoy reading books about bands (enough that I have a rocknroll book shelf here) and this one was okay. I appreciate when a writer can cr
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Jonathan Allen Lethem (born February 19, 1964) is an American novelist, essayist and short story writer.

His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. It was followed by three more science fiction novels. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel t
More about Jonathan Lethem...

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“I want what we all want," said Carl. "To move certain parts of the interior of myself into the exterior world, to see if they can be embraced.” 69 likes
“Listen to me. I’m shy. I’m not stupid. I can’t meet people’s eyes. I don’t know if you understand what that’s like. There’s a whole world going on around me, I’m aware of that. It’s not because I don’t want to look at you, Lucinda. It’s that I don’t want to be seen.” 36 likes
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