I can’t say I am a voice of young Black men in America. I also can’t say I am an expert in the narration of Black experience in America. Nor can I say I am an expert in music.
The thing is, I don’t know that I trust a British writer who is not Black to tell me these things either.
As a novel in which I am finding out about a set of characters even through the lens of a kind of sub-culture (record collectors) this portended to be an interesting novel. But as it went more and more into mouthpiece of race as an issue in America, it got more and more frustrating, more and more nonsensical, and ultimately boring.
As an expose of sub-culture it felt like William Gibson without the research. As a racial treatise it felt like Paul Beatty without the actual experience. As an analysis of a fractured mind it felt like Bret Easton Ellis without the….well, ok it was fine on this sense.
I really was hoping for more, but then again, a novel that tries to be topical, and mostly fails at it and then borrows a title in an oh-s0-clever way of reflecting pop culture, zeitgeisty kind of sense….well, I felt cheated. I guess I am done here, but I am really annoyed that someone took a funny and interesting topic and really didn’t do much with it. In a sense it’s asking the question of who gets to speak for authentic representation….but when it comes to American Blues culture…turns out a British guy, probably shouldn’t.