2005_08_artskunkel.jpgSmelling salts! Icy towels! The heat has gone to Michiko Kakutani’s head! Her review of Benjamin Kunkel’s Indecision is written in Holden Caulfield’s voice. Gothamist can’t remember such a wacky review since she favored us with her thoughts on Candace Bushnell’s Trading Up, said thoughts taking the form of a memo from Elle Woods to Bushnell’s protagonist. (Seriously, read it. It’s crazy.) While it’s hard to say that Michi’s grasp of voice is absolutely secure—however many tokens of authenticity are included to assure you that yes, like you, Michiko Kakutani has totally seen Legally Blonde and knows her Catcher in the Rye—we do like seeing things mixed up a bit. Especially since this treatment seems to be reserved for drubbings, it’s less dreary than a full-on dismembering of the book (though probably no more pleasant for the author).

We have our gripes with Candace Bushnell (for instance, if we have to listen to one more girl fake an orgasm over a pair of shoes, we are moving to Austin), and we’re probably just jealous of Michiko Kakutani’s fierceness (and the fact that her brain is obviously ten times the size of ours), but it seems a bit harsh to do this to a first-time novelist. Benjamin Kunkel is a founding editor of n + 1, and Indecision is about a privileged 28-year-old New Yorker who has trouble making the kinds of decisions you have to make to become a grownup. Don't know anyone like that, do you? He takes a lot of drugs, including one that is supposed to cure indecision. Gothamist hasn’t read it yet, but we have heard nice things; you can read an excerpt here and decide for yourself. Kunkel will read at the Astor Place Barnes and Noble at 7pm on September 15th. And think what you want about Eggers & Co...this is still hilarious.