Rodney's Reviews > Martian Dawn

Martian Dawn by Michael    Friedman
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Jun 07, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry

Martian Dawn broke into my personal Top Five “Poet’s Novels” about here:

“Rinpoche was a great Tibetan Buddhist teacher. He lived in a 4,000-square-foot ranch-style house with an indoor basketball half-court in East Boulder along the thirteenth fairway of the Flatirons Golf Course.”

The book’s charms are all here in miniature—the studied flatness; the social commentary posing as value-neutral information; and the economy of a cartoonist’s line that leaves the shading in of irony to you. When poets take to novels, I usually brace for flowery prose and a soggy plot. Friedman though adopts a style clean as ether and characters no deeper than the branded products they carry to throw attention on the geometry of their anomie. Interchangeable couples get run through a plot of mix ‘n’ match relationships that suggest, with dry humor and a light touch, that whether it’s in Buddhist meditation centers on Mars or at the bar of the Yale Club, the mind is a terrible Ritz-Carlton to waste.
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