Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Very Recent History

Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City

Today’s Non-fiction post is on “Very Recent History: An entirely factual account of  a year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City” by Choire Sicha. It is 240 pages long and is published by Harper Publishing. The cover has a picture of The City looking up between the buildings to a grey sky with the title and author information in a purple rectangle in the center. There is strong language, talk about sex and sexuality but no violence in this book; 18 and up just to be safe. It is told from an odd third person close. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Choire Sicha’s brilliant, enigmatic first book is a nonfiction account that reads like a novel. A voice from the future is piecing together a record of life in a “massive” city on the eastern coast of this country and follows John, a sexually profligate reporter with a weekly newspaper, and his circle of friends as they navigate the expensive, dark world around them. It is a fable of money, sex, and politics, featuring an imperious Mayor (the richest man in town) who is campaigning for an unprecedented third term, a Blind Governor, elevated to office in the wake of a prostitution scandal, who is trying to overcome scandals of his own; and BeyoncĂ©.
Told in Choire Sicha’s distinctive style, Very Recent History is a work of detailed reportage and an Internet-era historical pastiche that seamlessly weaves together first-person interviews and current events, presenting a surreal and sublime portrait of New York circa 2009; an island of isolation, ambition, sublimation, and attraction.

Review- This is an interesting way to tell a biography. I do not know if Sicha is in the book. He chances everyone’s names or gives them no names to protect them and himself. The story is about the life of John as he tries to live in The City when so much of America’s financial center where coming apart at the same time. Sicha gives the reader an odd shaped window into a life. The book starts at the beginning of the year and moves through the year in bits and pieces. By that I mean there is no chapter just about January but it about the winter then it moves slowly into spring and so on. It is at first not easy to red because there are so many characters that move in John’s life. The book will start a new scene with John then move to his best friend Chad and his boyfriend Diego and their relationship and then move back to John. The whole book is like that but I enjoyed it. This book is odd but it is very readable and I really enjoyed the oddness of the book. If you are looking for something a little different then try this one.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.