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You Don't Love Me Yet (Vintage Contemporaries)

2.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,360 ratings  ·  630 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 May 29th 2007)
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Average rating 2.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,360 ratings  ·  630 reviews


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Michelle
Jul 24, 2010 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
...more
Jason Pettus
Jul 16, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com].)

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
...more
Brian
Sep 03, 2013 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
...more
jeremy
Nov 23, 2007 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 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:
Bedwin
Falmouth Strand
Vogelsong
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
...more
Trin
Sep 30, 2008 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
Gabriel
Oct 29, 2008 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
...more
Mattia Ravasi
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Video-review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYcGX...
Featured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X6OQ...

If this book were a record, it would be a 40-minute New Wave album from the late seventies. A good one, not an excellent one (not Fear of Music, not Drums & Wires). Upbeat, imaginative, hilarious, odd in a way that makes it hard to read behind its cool. Always fun to listen, hardly anyone's favorite record.
It's not especially ambitious and it will hardly chang
...more
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
good. possibly boring. The characters are aimless and listless, and while the sentences/language isn't difficult its one of those books where the listlessness carries over and it becomes a very slow read - had the same experience with William Gibson's Blue Ant trilogy ...more
Brian
Feb 09, 2016 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
...more
Ryan
Apr 16, 2008 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
...more
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
...more
Jon
Aug 22, 2007 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
Kathy
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can say I have now tried this author. Parts of the book were amusing and even strangely interesting, but I don't want to enter his world of disassociated people again. ...more
L. Farmer
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this with Jonathan Lethem and we banged it out in a matter of weeks over AOL. Obviously I'm biased.

S.
...more
Ben
Jan 27, 2009 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
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read09
This short work seemed more like two novels to me - the first half was this charming, quirky story of a band and this woman who works for a Complaint Line that is really more of an art installation than a public service, and the second half is the story of the still unnamed band in Los Angeles as they go through the far-reaching effects of Lucinda meeting one of her callers, as well as the often unsuccessful merging of high concept art with a band.

During the first half, I was constantly reflecti
...more
Cflack
Jan 19, 2012 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
Havva
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Read on train. I liked the beginning better than the end.
Joe Kraus
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For most of the last 15 years or so, I have been one of Jonathan Lethem’s biggest fans. I think Chronic City has a claim on being the best novel of its decade, and I think Motherless Brooklyn is an almost perfect ironic tribute to the noir tradition. Add in the flawed but gorgeous Fortress of Solitude, the quietly beautiful Dissident Gardens, and the sci-fi comedy of Gun with Occasional Music, and he has as varied, funny, and brilliant a bibliography as anybody going.

My assessment of him as argu
...more
Rob
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I always feel like I should connect with Jonathan Lethem more than I do. His books often tick so many of the right boxes: music, movies, graphic novels, detectives, humor, tastefully sexy sexiness. And while I've certainly liked the stuff I've read – including You Don't Love Me Yet – it just hasn't resonated. And I really couldn't tell you why.

I mean, this one should have. It explores the ineffable nature of songcraft, the need for human connection but the danger of losing yourself in someone el
...more
Mariya Lim
The characters feel familiar. They sound like my friends. I might as well be Lucinda, attending some art shindig, drinking straight out of the bottle, kissing the wrong people. Astronaut food? Monster eyes? it me & us af

It doesn't follow though that just because it's relatable, it's got to be good. The supposedly talented, oddly named individuals who populate this book's world aren't all that likeable, but not even in their baseness are they compelling. You Don't Love Me Yet has its moments—mos
...more
Gregory
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From the wikipedia page: "You Don't Love Me Yet (2007) is a comic novel about alternative music from Jonathan Lethem, set in modern Los Angeles"

& now for my review: this book is a comic novel about alternative music in LA and that sucks. The music parts were so cringey bad to the point where one guy opens the door to his loft wearing a big star t-shirt and there is "drama" at a KEXP Seattle type interview and it is so uncomfortable. There are some endearing and charming qualities about this book
...more
Halley Sutton
I mean, technically well-written, because I like Lethem's writing, but I think I prefer him at his weirdest/most speculative. This was like, just, why? Left it in the back of the airplane seat. ...more
Bjorn
May 07, 2013 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
Keith Taylor
I have loved a couple of Lethem's books, but not this one. It just felt too thin, as if it were written in a hurry. I did write one of my little reviews of this though for the local paper -- one of my less enthusiastic ones:

https://annarborobserver.com/articles...
...more
Christen
Jun 22, 2008 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
...more
David
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Allright, allright, Okay.

What is truly ironic is that the panting, hysterically negative reviews of this book almost half prove its premise. I guess the subjects of this book's gentle and loopy satire are truly as thin skinned as they seem. Because that is what this book is, a satire. It is no more a realistic portrayal of Los Angeles than LA Story the movie. That is, I think, its ultimate charm.

I'm not calling it a masterpiece by any means, because it isn't. But it has a genuinely understated h
...more
Pulse
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well that didn't work, did it?

I got so bored of the book halfway through that I had to stop and read Cat's Cradle. Even if you somehow manage to be a Vonnegut-hater, you'll find it way superior. It's disappointing. Motherless Brooklyn was part of my coursework in college, and I have good memories of that one, so stumbling upon another Lethem work after all these years should have been a cause for celebration.

The characters are uninteresting, nothing of importance seems to happen, and it's a slog
...more
Jack
Jan 16, 2009 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
...more
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2,134 followers
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

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