Bradley Turner's Reviews > As She Climbed across the Table

As She Climbed across the Table by Jonathan Lethem
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's review
Aug 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

This is entertaining and clever literature. It weaves together: a critique of academics and the university-verse, as simultaneously tongue-in and biting but more reserved than Amis's famous Lucky JimLucky Jim; a literary Frankenstein improvisation of modern philosophical physics; and a pretty standard unrequited love-triangle tale.

In my opinion Lethem keeps all the balls in the air. His writing is exaggerated, over the top, streaming with figurative language and verbose verbal flair. But I find it more charming and witty than bothersome, especially as it surges from the charming and witty and hilarious Engstrand (note: if you cannot like Engstrand this book is screwed for you, just give up). It's just the kind of laugh out loud verbal and physical humor that I found so engaging in Motherless Brooklyn but lacking in the more "serious" The Fortress of SolitudeThe Fortress of Solitude. Engstrand is a wonderful comic hero in a cosmic tragedy and, although I have some reservations about the ending, this book is a delightful romp that will make you feel smarter and bust a gut at the same time.

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