Doubtless there will come a time when one’s more disciplined reading self requires nourishment from serious books that offer sustained intellectual, creative, and moral challenges. In the meantime, books – in particular the contemporary urban novel – may continue to satisfy by being charming, delightful, witty, heart-warming, hilarious, astringently refreshing, sharply observed, and deliciously original.
That, of course, is a sample of front and back cover terms designed to spark interest in these three new comic novels. In less grim times, one might feel guilty just dipping into such books, let alone reading them to the end, but with the never-ending trail of natural and invented disasters, both global and local, escapism seems the most sensible recourse. Besides, one of these novels deploys a crossword puzzle as a central structural device – what’s not to love?