Albert Brooks | FUTURE, TENSE Albert Brooks's debut novel

Since 2001 came and went with nary a sign of commercial spaceflights or sentient AI, writers seem to be hedging their bets when it comes to the future. Like last year?s Super Sad True Love Story, Brooks? vision of life in the year 2030 satirically stretches modern culture and politics, but keeps everything fully recognizable. (For example, the United States is now so mired in debt that China owns half of Los Angeles.) But while Brooks? debut novel is, like much of his film work, wonderfully astringent, he spends too much time on the specifics of his future and not enough on the characters inhabiting it. B-