"Her Name was Lola"
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 30th May 2010I found this in the library while looking for Riddley Walker (which wasn't there). Not familiar with Hoban's writing, but also not wishing to leave empty-handed, I thought that I'd give this a try - in spite of the title appearing to be a song reference (previously, neither Girlfriend in a Coma nor Venus As A Boy had really impressed).
In fact the song reference is marginal, and Hoban's writing is deceptively straightforward and enjoyable to read, which coupled with the short chapters meant that I whipped through this in a weekend. The story concerns Max Lesser, who falls for two woman at the same time, and then loses them both - as well as his memory, following a visitation from the Hindu demon Apasmara at the beginning of the book. As Max regains his memories we find out more about his relationships with the women (Lola and Lula-Mae), while in a parallel thread we also learn about Lola's own personal journey through mysticism.
It was certainly a quick and very pleasurable read, and I enjoyed the references to Hindu mythology. I also liked the way that Hoban doesn't really make much of an effort to explain everything about the characters. The story wraps up quite neatly at the end, and as with a lot of fiction I did find myself wondering if I'd missed some greater meaning. But maybe it's enough sometimes just to be entertained. Recommended.