Nate's Reviews > Ivyland

Ivyland by Miles Klee
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Mar 22, 13

bookshelves: read-2012-cycle, reviews
Read on January 02, 2012

EDIT 3/22/13: When reading this book try to not read it in the lens of "futuristic" and "dystopia." I don't feel like this book is too far away. I mean that in the sense that circumstances are different but the characters are people we know. In this age. In some ways, Miles takes the inner soul of today and sprawls it onto a geographic exterior. I think we tend to think that life is dark and abysmal and that's not necessarily a Millenial Generation type thing. It extends deeper in the bast then we give credit.

I bought this book out of sheer enjoyment and respect for Klee's work on the internet. Whether it be The Awl, Hate the Future or a vast number of his other online publications I was in for whatever novel he would produce.

It's a compilation of loosely related vignettes in a sort of dystopian future/alternate near-present centering around a number of characters that live in Ivyland, New Jersey. The prevailing attitudes are those of desperation and apathy. Most of the characters hate their lives to a certain extent but have resigned from it improving. The world is crumbling, bridges are denaturing, cops just don't care anymore and getting high off of Hallorax gas is the best way to cope.

A disease is lurking in the shadows of every character's life called H12. The way to prevent is to get a small surgical procedure by age 5 in order to prevent it from infecting you. If one contracts H12 they end up like the character Grady or worse. Memory, sanity and cognitive functions deteriorate and the best you can hope for is to live in a sort of halfway house.

Each one of the character's has deep flaws. DH and Lev are out trying to make quick money by giving the poor back alley VV procedures, Cal is emotionally distant and callous in his last few hours of life in orbit around the moon, his brother Aidan is infuriated by his own best friend Henri who's become suddenly secretive and by the flock of worshippers at the foot of his "miracle tree," along with a plethora of minor characters including radio DJ's, a bus driver and a band of corrupt cops. It's a world spiraling out of control with no one really trying to save it. Dark, funny and at times lyrical, I should hope this book is only the first of many in Miles Klee's career.
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01/02/2012 page 195
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