If you’ve followed Lars’ Spurious blog, this book is a treat and a surprise -- while many of the themes and passages seem familiar, you don’t get the sense of a blog having been chopped up and made into a book. It truly stands alone, and it is a wonderful thing to hold in your hands, open, and feel the texture of the pages. carry it around with you, mark pages with scraps of paper, pencil little stars in the margins. Too much of what’s published nowadays might as well be in blog form: easily digested, skimmed over, forgettable.
While much of the book is taken up with the near-constant verbal sparring of Lars and W., and though many reviewers make a great deal of the humour here (and it IS a very funny book), this seems to do the work some disservice, as if to say “yes, it’s kind of brainy and deals with ideas and philosophy and it raises some real questions about friendship, the place of writing, thinking, etc. in today’s world -- but no, it’s FUNNY.” No need for apologies or using its capacity to amuse an excuse. Humour, in Spurious, acts as leavening -- it lightens the book, but also gives it complexity and deeper form.
It’s a rather quick and breezy read. It also is worth spending some time savouring. A general rule of thumb for any book or film for me is “would I see it again?” (And/or “would I recommend it?”) In the case of Spurious a) yes, I have reread it, and b) I’m recommending it to you now. Easily one of the best books of the past couple of years, and definitely an object that will become more dog-eared with time and re-reading; other books will come and leave my shelves, but Spurious is a keeper.
Marzek, Not the Booker review