Rhythmic Sounds and Subway Interludes: A Review of Robert Lopez’s “A Better Class of People”

A Better Class of People

Robert Lopez’s latest novel-in-stories reads like a stream of conscious search for hope. A Better Class of People connects back with some of his characters from Good People from 2015, and the trilogy will be concluded with The Best People in 2024. All of the stories are first person narratives, told by a singular alienated narrator.  The voice throughout A Better Class of People is hypnotic and rhythmic and often unreliable. Lopez has said that sound and energy are keys to his writing process.  That’s where it all starts for him. And, you can hear the effect of this in every story of this collection.  We’re on a ride with an impulsive voice and it’s uncertain where we’re going or where we’ve been here. Every other story is a subway interlude—you see this reflected by a train symbol above the table of contents.  At times, the book is darkly funny and sometimes downright disturbing and tragic. There are even times the storyteller is potentially dangerous; he might or might not have a gun and often considers “shooting someone in the face.” Overall, the sound of the voice, like the electric currents of the subway, creates drama, intrigue, danger, and tension, and it pulls the reader through a strange, dystopian world that is both fascinating and unforgettable. 

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Vol. 1 Brooklyn’s March 2022 Book Preview

March2022 books

And now, somehow, it’s March. We’re not sure how that happened, either. Nevertheless, it is the case, even as the weather decides to vacillate between “bitter cold” and “maybe picnic weather?” It’s a strange time. Our recommended books for the month also cover a lot of ground, from insightful looks into the art of writing to immersive forays into surreal landscapes. Read on for what we’re looking forward to this month.

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