America the paranoid.
In each of the three novellas comprising Rick Moody's eighth book, distrustful, emotionally isolated characters struggle to make sense of post-9/11 American culture. Dr. Jamie Van Deusen, a retired government official living in an alcohol-fueled fantasy world, believes he has uncovered a terrorist plot in "The Omega Force." "K&K" follows Ellie Knight-Cameron as she becomes increasingly obsessed with the identity of the employee leaving nasty notes in the company suggestion box. "The Albertine Notes" takes place in an unrecognizable, post-nuclear Manhattan. Here, freelance writer Kevin Lee charts the sudden proliferation of a hallucinogenic drug called Albertine, which allows users to escape the horrors of reality by reliving their happiest memories.
Little, Brown and Company. 223 pages. $23.99. ISBN: 0316166340
Chicago Tribune EXCELLENT
"'The Albertine Notes,' the third piece in the collection, more than makes up for the middle-of-the-book slump. It is, I want to shout this out, a triumphant work of speculative prose." ALAN CHEUSE
NY Times Book Review EXCELLENT
"While 'The Omega Force' and 'The Albertine Notes' swell with allegory, the middle novella in Right Livelihoods, 'K&K,' is a spare fable that courts the current craze for dry send-ups of the American workplace. ... Even here, Moody never puts a foot wrong; he just sends his character down a path that's too well worn." LIESL SCHILLINGER
San Diego Union-Tribune EXCELLENT
"Right Livelihoods is filled with very funny moments, masterful writing and intelligence. Moody documents our culture at this moment, and seems to caution us against its worst qualities: paranoia strung into ridiculousness; work mistaken for security; overcompliance; overemphasis on mental acuity sufficient for any on-demand task; and the pressure to live too much in the brain and not enough in the soul." WENDY L. SMITH
Toronto Star EXCELLENT
"Simultaneously a biting satire and an anguished plea, Right Livelihoods is very much a book of its time and place, chronicling and rebuking an America obsessed with homeland security, class and consumerism. ... Here [in 'The Albertine Notes'] the crystalline prose and the chilling plot combine to create a...