percival everett’s works are so interestingly uneven… sometimes genius, sometimes slapstick. i can’t really pigeonhole his books at all.
parts of this book are so incredibly moving–the mother’s disintegration, the inability of the brothers to talk, the protagonist’s frustrations at the assumption that there is one “black literature.”
but then he goes and makes caricatures of women who exhibit some sexuality (Linda, in particular) and allows his characters to pretty much blow off the issue of homophobia (note the number of queens in the book, and the avoidance of gay brother bill), and one is left… headscratching.
no, of course one doesn’t have to cover the entire spectrum of -isms (racism, sexism, etc.). but i just don’t get how one seems to be Bad and the others just funny, or something.
i’ll keep reading everett’s books. maybe some day it will all fall together for me, a giant epiphany of percivalitude, and then i will Get It.