10:04: A NOVEL
Granta, $27.99 pb, 256 pp, 9781783781379
In Ben Lerner’s second novel, 10:04, weather maps that promise hurricanes deliver mere showers. The symptoms presented by an ailing human body don’t always yield a diagnosis and the night sky is a mystery. Excavated dinosaur bones can suggest that a creature as wonderful as a brontosaurus might have existed and then, on review, reveal that marvel to have been a fiction all along. It is hard to make sense of all this cultural, biological, and physical data; to integrate, as the narrator of this remarkable novel reflects, ‘all that information into a larger picture’.