Aldous Huxley. After the Fireworks. Hesperus, 2009 (originally published 1930). 135 pages.
It’s very cynical, but it’s also extremely well-written – for the most part. As far as 1930’s literature of the Character Study variety goes, it’s a great work. Unfortunately, it’s also very flawed. The characters, while exceptionally well and clearly developed, are unreasonably cynical (not unreasonable in an unbelievable sense, but unreasonable in a why-should-I-care-about-these-jerks sense). And the entire last chapter (in a book with only nine chapters) is tedious and unnecessary, which kind of ruined the book for me. Up until that chapter, however, I was thoroughly enjoying the book, despite the unlikable characters, thanks to Huxley’s interesting prose. The perspective wanders and flaps around seemingly at random, sometimes omniscient, but usually tied to one character, and always clear and efficient. It felt like the author was always present, almost another character, but without ever distracting from the story.