You Don’t Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem


The characters who people You Don’t Love Me Yet are very odd, but more recognizable than those in Motherless Brooklyn, another book by Lethem that I have read.  Four members of a nameless rock and roll band in Los Angeles include a singer who takes home the depressed kangaroo from the zoo where he works, a fickle (to put it delicately) bass player named Lucinda, the songwriter and guitarist Bedwin, who studied film in college and watches Human Desire by Fritz Lang over and over, and the motherly drummer Denise.   

The band is not making much headway — Bedwin hasn’t come up with many new songs until Lucinda provides him with some concepts and phrases she heard from a man calling the "complaint line" where she worked.  Bedwin came up with great songs, especially one called Monster Eyes, and the band was inspired.  They had a single performance at the Aparty, an event organized by an installation artist, one of Lucinda’s ex-boyfriends, who had set up the "complaint lines."  Naturally the complainer discovered they were using his "work" and joined the band.  Their practice time together was great, but then there was the train wreck…..

One of my favorite bits is the foot clinic sign outside Lucinda’s window that she uses to make decisions.  It’s a rotating foot; turned one way, it’s happy and healthy, the other, it’s sad and broken-down.   

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