Love Slave

Jennifer Spiegel. Unbridled, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-60953-082-2
Spiegel's debut novel, after The Freak Chronicles, a short story collection, chronicles the romantic misadventures of Sybil Weatherfield, author of "a neurotic little" newspaper column entitled "Abscess," wherein she "chronicles the manifestations of cerebral overload." Set in an innocuously seedy version of 1995 Manhattan—replete with Walkmans, answering machines, and O.J. Simpson hysteria—Spiegel's story is populated by characters whose highest aspiration is to be able to say, "I'm with the band." When Sybil befriends Rob, the lead singer of Glass Half Empty, she feel she's arrived. Despite her boring financial analyst boyfriend, she becomes infatuated with Rob and devotes her columns to deconstructing her relationships and bemoaning her condition—bulimic, fearful that she isn't hip enough, and unhappy as an office temp (which job, she says, is "the metaphor for my life"). Even more than the trappings of ‘90s NYC, Spiegel's novel evokes the psychic angst of Manhattanites presumptuous enough to describe themselves as struggling "artistes," yet entitled enough to melt down when they can't order breakfast in a diner after 11am. Although the storyline is thin, the writing is fresh and witty, and Sybil is a sympathetic character worthy of rooting for as she searches for something to believe in. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
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