Dear Cyborgs
January 31, 2018 7:56 AM - by Eugene Lim - Subscribe

In a small Midwestern town, two Asian American boys bond over their outcast status and a mutual love of comic books. Meanwhile, in an alternative or perhaps future universe, a team of superheroes ponder modern society during their time off. Between black-ops missions and rescuing hostages, they swap stories of artistic malaise and muse on the seemingly inescapable grip of market economics.
posted by DirtyOldTown (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This book sort of exploded by head. From its very first pages, there were profound bits I found myself quoting to people or passing the book over to my spouse so she could read them. But its structure evaded me a bit.

I read the capsule description and imagined something loopy and irreverent, something wild and fun with weird connective tissue. It's really more fragmented and contemplative, though. The connective tissue is not really apparent as you read it. He's remembering his childhood friend Vu, then its off to work for the Pentagon, then a supervillain stops to tell a long story about Occupy; a conversation about art is interrupted by a summons from the police commissioner to fight crime. It's jarring.

But I am glad I hung in there because even though the ending doesn't explicitly tie it up in a bow, it does sort of reveal the connections, the structure that was underneath all along. I may yet re-read it with this in mind. Though as much as anything, I'd be re-reading it to take in passages like these another time:
Economies of unthinkably vast scale allow the production of cheap, unsubtle food that overrides your limbic system with heavy, carnal signals so as to hide its exact resemblance to slow-acting poison. And this so-called food is served to you by a member of an underclass practically invisible to you, untouchable by you, unspeakable to except perhaps to complain and unspeakable of except perhaps to yourself with subconscious and subvocalized disdain, and yet, almost needless to say, a person whose destiny could have been exchanged for your own but for capricious circumstance.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:04 AM on January 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

Ooh, thanks - needed something next in my queue!
posted by porpoise at 2:41 PM on January 31, 2018

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