Rebecca's Reviews > Preparation for the Next Life

Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-third-way, best-of-2014, updated-classics

(Nearly 4.5) Like West Side Story, this debut novel (by the son of writer/editor Gordon Lish), is an updated Romeo and Juliet narrative – a tragedy-bound love story with a gritty contemporary setting and a sobering message about racism and the failure of the American dream. Lish’s post-9/11 New York City is less melting pot than Boschian hell, a violent abyss lubricated with the sweat of illegal immigrants. The matter-of-fact style somehow manages to elevate the everyday and urban into an art form. In the most remarkable single chapter, Zou Lei wanders the urban wasteland from night until dawn. There is an echo here of T.S. Eliot or of the ash heaps in The Great Gatsby: a reminder that all human achievement erodes to dust and ashes in the end.

(Full review in August 2015 issue of Third Way magazine.)
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Reading Progress

December 16, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
December 16, 2014 – Shelved
April 22, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed-third-way
June 10, 2015 – Started Reading
June 16, 2015 – Finished Reading
December 31, 2015 – Shelved as: best-of-2014
April 22, 2018 – Shelved as: updated-classics

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