Title: Your Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
Author: Alexandra Kleeman
Pub Date: January 26th, 2017 (first published July 14th, 2015)
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
View on Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
‘An existential thriller written in prose that points the way to the future’ Zadie Smith
A lives with B.
B seems to be becoming ever more and more like A.
If A’s boyfriend, C, likes A because A is A, but now B is the same as A, where does that leave A?
And what has happened to the family across the street, who left one afternoon out of nowhere, covered in sheets with holes cut out for the eyes?
A dry, funny and furiously intelligent fusion of postmodern dystopia, pop culture satire, and philosophical investigation – into identity, consumption, surface, bodies and satisfaction.
Do you ever have this feeling about a book, just from looking at it that you gonna love it? I had this feeling with You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine. When I first seen the cover, the original dark blue one, and read the title I knew I had to read it. I even ordered it, but the book never arrived. And maybe if the book arrived then I would love it, maybe then was a time when I was in a state of mind that would love and deeply appreciate this book. But now, when I finally read this book, I didn’t love it. I liked it, but it wasn’t the love I was expecting.
You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine seems like a bizarre book when you take it at face value. The story is crazy and ludicrous. It’s about A, who lives with B, and has boyfriend C. B seems to become more and more like A. C loves TV, and spends most of his time watching TV shows. A starts to lose her identity, she doesn’t know who she is, where she starts and where she ends. And she’s surrounded by strange things. Like Kandy Kake commercials, which descriptions are mind melting. And TruBeauty cosmetics commercials. And That’s My Partner game show. And Wally’s supermarket with ever-changing displays and carefully studied buying process of consumers. And some kind of religious cult that dresses in white sheets called New Christian Church of Conjoined Eaters.
Most mornings I barely resembled myself: it was like waking up with a stranger. When I caught a glimpse of my body, tangled and pale, it felt as if there were an intruder in my room. But as I dressed and put on makeup, touched the little tinted liquids to my skin and watched the hand in the mirror move alongside my own, I rebuilt my connection to the face that I took outside and pointed at those around me.
Underneath this peculiar world and A’s struggles in it, the book is presenting the postmodern dystopia. It is truly a novel tackling a questions in what direction are we going, how much consumerism and conformity are taking over individuals and their individuality. A’s world is our world. We buy things we don’t need. We watch the mind numbing entertainment. We try to look like the beautiful people on TV. We try to look like someone else. We try to be someone else. Where are we, where we start and where we end? Do we really want the stuff we buy and do? Who are we?
The book is food for thought. It must be read carefully. Choose the time when you read this book wisely. If you’re not ready to take such a strange story in, and see beauty in it, don’t read it just yet. Wait for the right moment. Read it when you most vulnerable and welcoming of new ideas wrapped in a strange paper.