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This is unlike anything else I have read this year, at times a fascinating meditation on the American psychological state and at times an interesting interpersonal story. Lerner has either learnt or forced himself not to be so sexist since his poetry days and has done a decent job of writing female characters in this book. Good to see some progress in a writer - plus if you were born in the 80s you'll enjoy all the references!
I think this might be a book that benefits from being read in a single sitting. I found it very easy to lose the thread of what was going on but this might be because I was not very structured in my reading. I got a bit lost in some places and felt that there was lots of connections that I missed. Having said that I did enjoy the writing in places and (spoiler alert, don't read any more if you don't want any ...) did enjoy the sex scene though I'm not sure if I felt sorry for the author and his best friend or not. It seems quite sad that they had such a close friendship, close enough to want a child together, but couldn't quite make it work as a partnership.
Ben Lerner's writing has always gripped me, and '10:04' was no exception to read. It's clever rendering of narratives– both factual and fictional– provided a fascinating and sometimes brilliantly frustrating book, that was complex and experimental. Fans of Lerner will recognise a number of key styles and characters that are characteristic to his writing, notably the dry, self awareness that could potentially be infuriating to some, whilst for others suggests a mature and reflecting author.