After I wrote about the Believer's love for James Hynes's Next, I decided to actually pick up the book, and read it this weekend. It is a strange thing--real almost to the point of absurdity, attentive to low-level details and actions that we shouldn't care about but that we do because of how they're related, jumbled in with the protagonist's nostalgia for fifty-some years of family and lovers. This is a book obsessed with middle-aged lust-fueled longing, the kind that is desperate but that also laughs at its own desperation. I wouldn't say the last sixth of the book is as wild-fresh-new as some other reviewers have, but I will say that it's daring, and would be difficult to write, and takes everything that came before and makes it seem far more important than it might.
Now I am going to read Pym, which I am looking forward to. NPR talks it up here.