Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson - OPTIONAL

Anderson, M.T. Landscape with Invisible Hand, 149 pages. Candlewick Press, 2017. $17. Language: R (64 swears, 15 ‘f’); Mature content: PG-13 (sexual content); Violence: PG.

Years earlier, an alien race called the Vuvv visited Earth and offered to share their advanced technologies with world leaders. As a result, 17-year old Adam now lives in a world where jobs are impossible to find (Vuvv technology does everything better), families not closely connected with the Vuvv have almost no means of paying for life’s basic necessities, and the divide between haves and have-nots is greater than ever before. In an attempt to feed their families, Adam (a talented painter) and his girlfriend, Chloe, begin “performing” for paying Vuvv subscribers—filming themselves on retro-Americana dates that the Vuvv love. When their teenage love begins to fade, Adam finds himself in an even tighter spot than before. As things come to a head with his art, his family, and his world, Adam must decide where he truly stands in relation to the Vuvv who now seem to control even the options he has in the world.

This book felt nearly impossible to summarize because of its beautiful complexity. I was about halfway through before I realized this story is brilliant writing and I was loving every second of it. The story has so much depth to it I can already imagine the essay topics an English teacher could assign. The story was original, funny, interesting, and more than once I found a line worth writing down for needlepoint later. The language is obviously a barrier to a higher recommendation, but I also wonder how many young adult readers would be able to appreciate the satire and depth Anderson has created without a teacher’s guiding hand.


No comments: