Wanna save ten bucks? Of course you do! So buy the paperback of Jay Caspian Kang’s The Dead Do Not Improve. It’s ten bucks cheaper than the hardcover, which was already a steal, since it’s “the best book I’ve read in years” according to some dude (me) who raved about it at Full Stop.
The Dead Do Not Improve is a detective story about a murder in San Francisco’s ultra-hip Mission District that forces our protagonist, Philip Kim, to confront his gentrifying neighbors, a surfing cop, elderly porn stars, a militia of ex-hacker vegan hippies, and Chris Isaak. This book is jumpy and scattered and high on its own fumes. Just like the hyped-up generation and the ambivalent city it satirizes. I’m cool with that.
And for a good laugh, check out the one-star reviews on Amazon: “Readers, avoid besmirching your senses and leave this stinker on the shelf.” Classic! Plus a visit from the real-life Bad Vibes Bob.
– Brian Hurley