I’m going to admit straight away that I’m still not sure what to make of this book. If that sounds like an irresponsible prevarication from someone who is supposed to be reviewing it, then so be it, but in defence I can state that my overriding impression (so far) of the book is that the whole thing is a deception, a wandering miscellany of forgery and distorted fabrication, bogus scholarship and illusory revelation.
But it’s fucking funny, and an enjoyable, if confusing, read. Nestor Notabilis is a pseudonym (I believe) for Richard Meros (I think), the author not at all famous for writing On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover, and the recently released Richard Meros salutes The Southern Man.
Notabilis denies this, or maybe admits it, or perhaps he was lying about his denial and telling a mistruth about his admission, or maybe it’s a moot point, or lacks a point, or it’s a pointed commentary on the role of the author and society and the way we read and how we attribute authorship, or something else. Anyway, the author apparently bangs into Meros on the banks of the Avon, and after a run-in with some skinheads and various other digressions, learns that Meros knows someone who knows someone who…yep, you guessed it, knows the head of Saatchi and Saatchi. Quite well in fact. Having decided that a meeting with Kevin Roberts will make his life perfect beyond reason, Notabilis sets out in search of this elusive connection.
Girls are kissed, macrocarpas are climbed in the fading Canterbury sunlight, and Notabilis almost has to attend a church service. Eventually, after some vomiting, he meets the person who knows Kevin Roberts quite well, and an introduction is arranged.
Meeting Roberts in New York leads to some interesting discussion, and some sort of explication of the nature of Lovemarks©®TM, the über-brand which Roberts invented, the idea being that they will inspire “loyalty beyond reason” in their followers.
Oh, and God shows up somewhere along the line, and a character is killed, only to be resurrected.
If it all sounds ridiculous, reflect on the fact that Lovemarks©®TM is no joke, Roberts really did write an influential and successful book about how to make people exhibit “loyalty beyond reason” towards their fucking sneakers or whatever. Not to mention the fact that people have been exhibiting LBR to all sorts of weird concepts for the entirety of history, and, like all good satire, this book will make you start to wonder what is more ridiculous – the satire itself, or the reality it targets.
I Know Someone… is excellent, a quirky, hilarious, complex, and layered book. It’ll make you laugh, make you think, and make you scratch your head as you wonder what exactly is going on.
Edited by Richard Meros