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’.
Catriona Menzies-Pike is the editor of the Sydney Review of Books. She was Managing Editor of the daily news website New Matilda before joining The Conversation as Arts Editor. She holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Sydney and has taught undergraduates at several Sydney universities.
From the New Issue
PoliticsReviewed by Frank Bongiorno
Daddy Cool: Finding my father, the singer who swapped Hollywood fame for home in Australia by Darleen BungeyReviewed by Tali Lavi