Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld

Neil's picture

This novel is set in the New York suburb of Tribeca, and explores the lives of a group of 'creatives' at a time when the suburb is becoming gentrified by an influx of wealthy financiers. It brings to mind Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap in that each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character, although some reappear, and some are told as first-person narratives, some in the third person. It's a complex structure, and it's not built around a single event, as in The Slap, but covers a year in the lives of the interlinked characters, with quite a lot of back story. While it is at times hard to keep track of the links between them, the structure does allow for a deep emotional engagement with these deeply flawed characters, and the story fizzes along with considerable energy and tension. It's a gently satirical book, empathetic and intelligent. I enjoyed it a great deal.