Review: Fake Accounts, by Lauren Oyler
A very, very strong book - but I will only be discussing it very broadly and slightly vaguely (no doubt making for quite a short review) as I don't want to spoil the plot at all, other than to say that it strains the bounds of credulity and is absolutely bonks. Just sheer, total bonkersosity.
I absolutely adored this book. I loved the meta-critique, meta-satirical view it provided on twenty-first century socialization and dating; I loved how the narrator is constantly winking at the autobiographical nature of the novel while always remaining blisteringly true to her voice and sense of humor; I loved how endlessly biting and scathing and downright hilarious this book was in parts. And I'm embarrassed to admit how painfully relatable I found the narrator, as well.
The analysis and critique of twenty-first century society that this provided was pretty spot-on, as well. Granted, the critique looks at a very narrow swathe of society (as the narrator makes clear, many times - this book is entirely focused on skewering upper-middle-class white women who live in Brooklyn and date upper-middle-class white men), but for that specific lens, it was hilariously accurate, and absolutely cuttingly funny. It makes fun of lots of things: performative activism, wanting to look 'woke' but not actually doing anything to make any of that happen (part of me wishes I'd read this immediately after finishing Such A Fun Age, since in my head those books would have an absolutely fascinating conversation if, you know, books could talk to each other); righteous Tweeting. The scene where the narrator decides to go to the Women's March so she could say she went to the Women's March made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to fall off the couch.
She also does a bit where she criticizes the style that's become very popular in literature lately (think Jenny Offil - short, sentence-length paragraphs, very fragmented storytelling) and modern dating; an entire chapter is dedicated to the dates she goes on where she makes up different characters for every man. Again, reader - I cackled.
All in all, I highly, highly recommend this book - it's one of those perfect 'time capsule' books, and I think we'll look back on this in a few years' time as well capturing the zeitgeist of 2016-2020. The writing is going to hold up brilliantly, as well - witty, clever, occasionally cruel, but always self-aware and never taking itself too seriously. It's in contention for my Top 10 of 2021 list already.