Christian, M. “Me 2”, Alyson Books, 2008.
Manufacturing a World
The first book I read by M. Christian was “The Very Bloody Marys” which I loved. (By the way, M. you forgot to send me a copy of this new book—I actually had to pay for it). He has not let me down with his new book (so I suppose it was worth what I paid for it).
“Me 2” is engaging and fun as it deals with the nature of identity and whether it is worth keeping the one we have. In this twisted little book, one can find out who he really is, or rather who he is supposed to be. This is a thriller but not the usual ones. This one is twisted as it deals with the psychological aspects of identity and it literally scares. Christian uses the “Genetic Mirror Theory” which claims that everyone has a twin and in this case the terror seems very, very real.
The unnamed narrator is one of those gay boys that look like summer all year long. His gayness is not a problem, however. Being gay is just a part of him that guides the way he lives. Being gay to our narrator is not about sexuality; rather it is just about being. He is typical of the modern age in the way he reacts to others. He never rally gets to know anyone and he judges people on face value. In fact, he does the same for himself. He is superficial and worries about how he looks and how others see him. His existence seems to be devoid of any real meaning and every day is like the day before and after. He works at Starbucks and his customers are simply cups of coffee. One day he begins talking to a guy who tells him all about fakes and doubles and he further states that there are people in society who are simply clones of others and they spend their time trying to perfect the imitation of someone else.
With his bug in his head, our coffee boy begins to wonder if he has a double and the idea consumes him to the point that he realizes that he does and that his double is tkin over his life. It is then that he begins to question just who he really is.
The nature of identity is not a new idea in literature but Christian makes it seem so and does so brilliantly. He causes us to question just who we are and further questions arise as to who we can be in a society of mass consumption. We do not get a good picture of America as M. Christian writes about the country in which we live and he paints it as a place where everything we do is beholden to both brand names and advertising.
Because of the nature of the theme, the book contains layering of ideas albeit extremely well written and very smart. Here is a world where what we know becomes suspect. The sense of dread that hangs over the novel is all too real.