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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

The Lazarus Project

The Lazarus Project - Aleksandar Hemon Take one of the most interesting periods in U.S. history. Throw in the facts from a heinous, racially charged hate crime and its cover up by Chicago authorities. Put these in a book by one of today's most entertaining, linguistically gifted authors. The result should be a powerful and interesting tale. Unfortunately, it's not.Hemon's usually rich language feels commonplace in this book. The story is slow and doesn't tie together in a way I found to be worthwhile. Throughout the novel, I felt like Hemon was trying his hand at something huge, something brilliant, but it never comes together. The three worlds of The Lazarus Project--the historical, the semi-autobiographical present, and the photographic--all are moving in a whirlwind of passion, but to what aim? How do they relate in a life changing way? Unfortunately, for me they did not.I imagine this may have been a very personal project for Hemon; perhaps it was meaningful to him and the novel's purpose was fulfilled. I'm glad for him if this is the case. As a reader, however, I was really disappointed with The Lazarus Project--and to think, it had so much potential.Nevertheless, I look forward to my next meeting with Aleksandar Hemon. I have no doubts it will be a delight.