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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New review of 2023

In a pretty good-sized review of 2023: A Trilogy at the LA Review of Books, Ron Hogan begins with a good discussion of Robert Anton Wilson before moving on the subject at hand, the new work by KLF folks Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty.

I was hoping for a bottom line on whether I should actually read the book. The closest thing to that I could find in the review was "Indeed, 2023 is not, as a novel, terribly welcoming to readers who aren’t already familiar with the JAMs, and from a classical literary perspective it’s actually something of a mess — but that’s the point."

Thanks to Chris Mayer for writing to me to point out the review.


Rasa said...

I got 2023 a few weeks ago, and every so often in my insane schedule I read a few pages. I'm enjoying it, but largely because I get the references. It may be a challenge to someone who doesn't. After starting it, a friend gave me a copy of "The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life" by Brant Cortright. I was hoping the upgrade would help me have more time for reading 2023, and other benefits. I'm thinking 2023 and Neurogenesis is a good combination.

Ron Hogan said...

Hello! So, I'm just now seeing this a year later—and, to answer the question my review didn't answer, I do think *you* should read 2023, if you didn't go ahead and do it at some point in the last twelve months. I think you, like me, have a particular cultural literacy that the book will make sense to you, even when it's deliberately being "occult" in the sense of throwing up a lot of literary and cultural confetti to confuse the uninitiated.

Overall, I suspect we should treat 2023 less as a novel and more as a hypersigil, the full working of which remains known only to Bill Drummond. So, you know, don't go into it expecting the pleasures of a novel, and you'll likely find more in it. It didn't imprint on me as deeply as MASKS did, or even THE INVISIBLES ,but maybe if I read it again in 10-15 years, a whole new layer will open up for me as has been the case with those books.