The Body (2004) Kureishi, author of 1990's racy, exuberant "The Buddha of Suburbia," can do a lot better than this truncated, slapdash sci-fi meditation on beauty, aging, and… 2004-02-24 Fiction
Book Review

The Body (2004)

EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Feb 24, 2004; Writer: Hanif Kureishi; Genre: Fiction

Kureishi, author of 1990's racy, exuberant ''The Buddha of Suburbia,'' can do a lot better than this truncated, slapdash sci-fi meditation on beauty, aging, and death. Adam is a saggy, sixtysomething London playwright who goes to a party, hears about a revolutionary technique for transplanting old brains into young bodies, looks in the mirror, and signs up. He chooses a handsome new physique from the refrigerator of a dodgy underground clinic, and after a little surgery and a name change, presto: Potbellied old Adam is reborn as the well-hung Leo Raphael Adams, ''stocky and as classically handsome as any sculpture in the British Museum.'' This is a nifty premise, full of narrative and philosophical possibilities, but for the remainder of this scrawny volume Adam bums around Europe, moonlights as a model, has a lot of sex, and entertains desultory, staggeringly shallow reflections on the human condition, such as the immortal: ''What were refinement and the intellect compared to a sublime f---?''

Originally posted Feb 20, 2004 Published in issue #752 Feb 20, 2004 Order article reprints