Something New Under the Sun
by Alexandra Kleeman
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 03 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, Time, Los Angeles Times. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Vulture, Thrillist, LitHub
“A darkly satirical reflection of ecological reality.”—Time
“Genius.”—Los Angeles Times
“Wildly entertaining and beautifully written.”—LitHub
East Coast novelist Patrick Hamlin has come to Hollywood with simple goals in mind: overseeing the production of a film adaptation of one of his books, preventing starlet Cassidy Carter's disruptive behavior from derailing said production, and turning this last-ditch effort at career resuscitation into the sort of success that will dazzle his wife and daughter back home. But California is not as he imagined: Drought, wildfire, and corporate corruption are omnipresent, and the company behind a mysterious new brand of synthetic water seems to be at the root of it all. Patrick partners with Cassidy—after having been her reluctant chauffeur for weeks—and the two of them investigate the sun-scorched city's darker crevices, where they discover that catastrophe resembles order until the last possible second.
In this often-witty and all-too-timely story, Alexandra Kleeman grapples with the corruption of our environment in the age of alternative facts. Something New Under the Sun is a meticulous and deeply felt accounting of our very human anxieties, liabilities, dependencies, and, ultimately, responsibility to truth.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 47 members
Evocative of Inherent Vice (the novel) and Under the Silver Lake (the movie). I kept picturing Cristin Milioti as the actress. This is part Hollywood satire and part drama of self-discovery. Probably because I'm forced to live the Hollywood satire on a daily basis, I found the dramatic elements more compelling than the satirical ones. I struggled to accept that an author whose novel was being adapted into a film would also work as a production assistant. The concept of manmade water and the apocalyptic climate change themes are very cool. Is either best served by a story about a movie getting made? Does including a storyline set at a commune on the other side of the country improve the overall narrative construction? You might think that the plot is disjointed in service of the themes. Some readers will admire this choice; some won't. Much of the prose is downright impressive. Kleeman is a genuine stylist.