The Future Won’t Be Long: A Novel
Jarret Kobek hovered onto a lot of cultural radars with last year’s I Hate the Internet: A Novel – set in a San Francisco hollowed out by tech money, greed and rampant gentrification – and this is a prequel of sorts. The bulk of the action takes place in New York, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, and again features the sardonic Adeline, a wealthy art student. In the previous novel she was a successful comic book artist, but we encounter her here before her rise, in a dodgy East Village squat where she chances upon a young gay man who has just arrived from the Midwest. The pair develop a strong bond and get their own apartment together. Kobek’s scope moves beyond a mere depiction of their friendship, also offering the reader a portrait of a city in a state of flux with the demi monde of the so called Club Kids being particularly well drawn in all of its druggy excess. And among all the name-dropping (Bret Easton Ellis and Norman Mailer pop their heads in) and pithy one-liners, Kobek manages to locate some heart, too.