Monday, January 01, 2007

06.40 Eat The Document by Dana Spiotta


Eat The Document (2006) by Dana Spiotta
Trade, Scribner, 304 pp.

This was a novel I read over the holidays. The book was laying around and had provoked discussion amongst the group I was with.

The story takes place in two time periods, the 60's and the late 90's. A young idealistic couple is part of a group that commits an act in the 60's, the result of which causes them to have to flee and change their identities. The parts of the book that take place today are about these two (separately) and how they have changed and become different people from who they once were. The woman never really lost the fear of being on the run and lives as a slightly alcoholic widowed housewife who has a son who is a collector of niche music LPs. The guy drifted through life retaining his youthful idealism and now works in a counterculture bookstore trying to inspire the youth of today.

The fundamental thesis is that the generalized anti-establishment feelings of the 1960's have been subsumed by corporate capitalism and the kids of today who are feeling disaffected only express it in niche causes (eg. anti-WTO or animal rights).

The book was OK but didn't really say anything new or at least anything that touched me. Some of the voices that the author wrote in (she tells the story from around 5 perspectives) came off as forced and unrealistic. I wouldn't bother with this one.

1 comment:

Olman Feelyus said...

The stories of those ex-hippie radicals on the run and now in middle age I find quite fascinating, especially the sad ones where they get busted. Too bad the book doesn't sound like it does a good job.