Giving Hoban a third go...Hoban, Russell. Her Name Was Lola. London: Bloomsbury, 2003.Summary
: Novelist Max Lesser meets Lola, the girl of his dreams, but he can't keep it in the pants and ends up involved with Lula Mae--thereby impregnating them both. Max confesses, and Lola is infuriated, leaving him to study Indian music and religious tradition and inadvertently siccing a curse of forgetfulness on Max. Even so, they end up back together after Max rescues Lola from an overamorous dentist, and they live happily ever after.Comments
: And, yet again, we have an overaged, asshole protagonist...but, thankfully, the women this time around are more than pretty faces (but they're that too, and it's the first thing Hoban lets the reader know about them, irritatingly). Age 39 and age 25 I can live with, however. And, this time around, she leaves HIM; he isn't given the luxury of choice as he is in The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz
to leave the pregnant woman high and dry. I also appreciated Max's mind and his literary alter ego Moe, both of whom tell him off on numerous occasions and routinely demonstrate better judgment than Max himself. Max's encounter with Apasmara in the beginning of the novel is deliciously surreal, effectively providing sufficient momentum for the entire narrative, which, unfortunately, lags noticeably in the second half. They layering of fact and fiction between protagonist, protagonist's literary creation, and author Hoban himself is skillfully-done but nothing that hasn't been done before, and better, by other authors. The final message of this novel? Even assholes can get the perfect girl, provided they learn from their mistakes. Seems rather insulting to the hypothetical perfect girl...and it would be totally insufferable if we didn't know that she has the power to make his life utterly miserable and (horror or horrors!) attenuate an already bad case of writer's block. Notes
: hardcover, 1st editionRating
- Anti-feminist as usual, but at least he abundantly acknowledges the extent of his jerkdom. Otherwise, a lucid, easy read despite meta-textual complexities.