Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 book 173

Jay Caspian Kang's The Dead Do Not Improve
I was intrigued by the description of this first novel by Kang, who works on Grantland--it's about a youngish Korean-American man whose elderly white neighbor is killed in what seems to be random gang gunfire, but then he gets drawn into a much larger mystery. The writing is excellent and I enjoyed some parts of this a lot (primarily the descriptions of the protagonist's childhood/teen years in North Carolina, where he and his Jewish friends were super into rap, and his meditations on Korean-American identity) but some parts were less appealing to me (I think this is more of a dude book, I didn't understand the end AT ALL, and I wanted to know more about the protagonist's family [though I understand why the latter maybe wasn't relevant]).  Mainly my problem was that the mystery made no sense to me--I get that this isn't a traditional mystery novel, but still. But like I said, excellent writing, and should be popular among dudes. B.

An e-galley was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in August.

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