Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
If you decide to tackle The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles, expect the unexpected. Expect to find yourself laughing out loud at Lenny Dushoff’s wild mental meanderings, social and personal insecurities, and multitude of physical…or is it psychosomatic…ailments. Expect to be repulsed by his successful, overweight father whom Lenny hates with a passion. Depending on your sensibilities, expect to be possibly offended by the language and preoccupation of his hormone-overloaded college buddies with sex. Expect to be as puzzled, curious and confused, as Lenny is, by his first sexual experience with his ultimate true love, Jane. And finally, expect to be shocked by the ending of The Lay of LaLa Land which, unless you’re very intuitive, you most likely will never see coming till it does.
A.Y. Miles is a very clever writer. Skilled at coming up with fresh metaphors that fire your imagination, his way with words is enviable. He captures Lenny’s rather nerdy persona beautifully: he is a 135-lb naive, insecure young adult who tries hard to never offend anyone. Unlike his successful father, a psychologist and acclaimed author, Lenny doesn’t see himself as succeeding at anything: his career or his love life. Lenny’s buddies want to help him out and cheer him on, but it is Jane who ultimately helps him find himself and his strength. Miles uses Lenny’s reflections and dialogue between the characters so well, readers can easily feel their emotions and understand their motivations. As crazy as this story, its characters and the plot line sometimes seem to be, one gradually senses this is not really a funny, coming of age story after all. It is, as a Seattle Book Review reviewer stated, “a brutally honest portrait of life and reality”, and that reality is neither funny nor pretty.
Pick up a copy of The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles if you dare to be shocked on several levels. This book is not for those offended by colourful language full of sexual innuendo and even borderline pornographic description. But it is an absorbing read for anyone with an open mind who reads a book to get at its real message. That message, in The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles, is an important one.