Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery

Books Reviews
Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery

With debut novel, Spin senior writer positions himself as the Bret Easton Ellis of the blogosphere.

Time: 4:28pm
Mood: Intrigued
Music: The Magnetic Fields, “I Wish I Had an Evil Twin”

The doppelgänger has a long history in literature, from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Fight Club. Miss Misery updates it for the Internet age, using a blend of straight narrative and pitch-perfect entries—much like this one! :: smiles ::

Greenwald comes off as a kinder, gentler Bret Easton Ellis, whose Glamorama featured doppelgängers galore. Both authors have a knack for capturing the zeitgeist by name-dropping brands and bands, but Greenwald’s more boho Brooklyn than ritzy Manhattan, so instead of Prada and Huey Lewis, we get ironic Winger T-shirts and LCD Soundsystem. Our story: Rock critic David Gould is about to miss deadline on a book about blogging; he’s alienated and lonely; corresponding with an emo kid from Utah and obsessed with the titular Miss Misery, whose blog details an effortlessly vibrant social life. But on his LiveJournal, Gould is a coke-snorting DJ and hedonistic Lothario. He remains trapped in his self-imposed vacuum until his blog begins to update itself as his rampant id roams the city, romancing Miss Miz and wreaking havoc on Gould’s quiet existence. Equal parts metaphysical conundrum, roman à clef, and page-turning thriller, Miss Misery ballasts its unlikely plot with hyper-real characters that Greenwald inflates into more than stereotypes. The generosity is commendable, even if he’s giving our generation too much credit. 😉

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