Books

New: Patrick DeWitt's Ablutions: Notes for a Novel

As a counterweight to the weekend’s Oscar blitz, readers should check out Patrick DeWitt’s new novel. Though set in Hollywood, Ablutions takes place a world away from the red carpet in a bar that "resembles a sunken luxury liner of the early 1900s, mahogany and brass, black burgundy leather coated in dust and ash." DeWitt wrote the novel in the second person as a series of connected vignettes, covering the lives of the bartenders and the patrons. Reviewing the book for the Los Angeles Times, George Ducker noted that the territory is a “well-worn path” but that it’s freshened by DeWitt’s “sharp and bitter and funny” writing.