The Disappointment Artist
In various essays about the intersection of pop culture and personal memory, Jonathan Lethem illustrates how the consumption of books and movies is seldom simple, capable of serving as a gateway to nostalgia or a point of disconnect. With a subtle undercurrent of shame, Lethem recalls his decision to end a friendship over John Ford’s Western The Searchers. In The Disappointment Artist he realizes that the reason he saw Star Wars 21 times in the summer of 1977 was related to the fact that his mother was slowly dying from a brain tumor. And in ”Two or Three Things I Dunno About Cassavetes,” Lethem says what any film obsessive has always wanted to tell a significant other: ”Quit saying you love me because if you don’t love that movie you don’t love me.” Lethem’s trademark pop insight makes this slim volume a remarkable read.