Tom Bissell, a writer who, among other things, wrote a heartbreaking account of his relationship with his Vietnam Vet father in the book The Father of All Things, has a review in the NYT of what en face looked to be a promising new Mexican novel. It let him down, to say the least, and the result is an hilariously scathing review in which the following summary appears:
The themes of “Season of Ash” can fairly be summarized as follows: Businessmen? Hubristic. Scientists? Arrogant. Communism? Bummer. Things? Fall apart.
I echo many a critic and writer’s exasperation at the vituperous and cranky missives shot out after some poor author disappoints Kakutani, but somehow Bissell, through his humorous, glib approach, manages to avoid making me feel sympathetic to the very author he’s lambasting. The review? Worth a read. The Novel? Surely not.