Twilight of the Superheroes In her best stories, Deborah Eisenberg plunges without preamble into the hyperactive inner world of talky, middle-aged Americans. In the witty "Some Other, Better Otto,"… Twilight of the Superheroes In her best stories, Deborah Eisenberg plunges without preamble into the hyperactive inner world of talky, middle-aged Americans. In the witty "Some Other, Better Otto,"… 2006-01-24 Fiction Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Book Review

Twilight of the Superheroes (2006)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Jan 24, 2006; Writer: Deborah Eisenberg; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

In her best stories, Deborah Eisenberg plunges without preamble into the hyperactive inner world of talky, middle-aged Americans. In the witty ''Some Other, Better Otto,'' a waspish lawyer vacillates between savagely mocking his lover (''This is unbearable! I've spent the best years of my life with a man who doesn't know how to use the word 'and!''') and loathing himself for being cruel. A nervous schoolteacher entertains timid fantasies about her guide on a tour of Italy in ''Like It or Not'' — until an adroit last-minute switch in perspective illuminates the terrible chasm in understanding that can yawn between new acquaintances. But the rambling title tale, Twilight of the Superheroes, — about a group of young people sharing a condo with views of the World Trade Center — never finds its footing. Like others who have tackled 9/11, Eisenberg hasn't figured out how to translate the enormous event into human-scale fiction.

Originally posted Jan 20, 2006 Published in issue #860 Jan 27, 2006 Order article reprints
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