By Jason Diamond
There’s no denying that Joshua Ferris has a pretty impressive resume: great reviews for his first book, Then We Came to the End, stories in some of the best literary publications, and a good amount of buzz for his second novel, Unnamed. But is the buzz helping or hurting? Ron Charles of The Washington Post calls the book, “a dreary, aimless novel“, and our pal Levi Asher at Lit. Kicks would rather watch Jersey Shore than check out the sophomore novel.
So what do I do? Do I spend my time reading 310 pages of Unnamed so I can make a decision? There are five new books sitting on my desk waiting to be read, none of those getting nearly as much attention as Ferris’s new work, and a few of them are by authors whose work I’m familiar with and enjoy. Thinking about all this makes me recall a conversation I had last week about how much easier it is to give a new album with lots of “music buzz” a chance, opposed to giving a book with a ton of “literary buzz” a chance: a record takes about an hour of your time, a book, many more.
I’m guessing that I might have to wait a bit longer to tackle Mr. Ferris, but for now, he will remain a buzzword.