Tales of the end of the world

Jonathan Lethem’s new novel, The Arrest, is a post-apocalyptic story about storytelling itself. The Motherless Brooklyn author’s 12th book follows a screenwriter in a small Maine town after the collapse of technological civilization. The novel spends its time exploring Hollywood, genre cliches, and why America is obsessed with tales of the apocalypse. Lethem touches on an interesting question: Why do all our old stories feel stale? The Arrest is a quick and funny read, but its critique of storytelling falls short because it doesn’t take its own questions seriously enough.

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