Monday, January 9, 2023

A Review of "You'll Like It Here"


A fascinating smudging of the notions of the novel, Ashton Politanoff’s You’ll Like It Here (Dalkey Archives) alternates between being charming and creepy, nostalgic and prophetic, dreamy and mundane. As he explains in his introduction, Politanoff, a Redondo Beach, California native since he was 8, dove into local archives upon his mom’s death and came out with this odd duck book. Fascinated by what he found, particularly from 1911-1918, especially since the period seemed to rhyme with our current age, he built a found novel, of a sort, compiling very brief news item “chapters” that never add up to a distinct plot, but certainly build mood and themes. 

Dropped into his acknowledgements is this important explanation of how he saw this project: “While I have used historical situations and newspaper clippings as the basis of this project, names have been changed, dramatic structure has been favored over historical accuracy, and facts have been expanded, all with the aim toward fiction and my own poetic and aesthetic concerns.”

Care to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.

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