Christopher Miller's The Cardboard Universe suffers from many of the same problems. It's a cool premise, but it just doesn't hold up. It's written as an encyclopedia of the works of a fictitious SF writer names Phoebus K. Dank (a clear reference to Phillip K. Dick). On the surface it seems like a cool post-modern take on literary guide books. It's often funny, but it seems like a cop-out. Miller came up w/ a bunch of silly book topics and then made fun of them. Rather than actually sustaining a narrative, it reads like a SF version of Tucker Max: clever, but in the end, pretty empty. it might make for decent bathroom reading though as each entry cold be gotten through during a satisfying deuce.
Since I'm finally done w/ these, I started The Savage Detectives yesterday... Awesome! I imagine many of you have already read it, but if you haven't... do it! Roberto Bolaño lived a fascinating life, & as his works seem to be getting translated @ a rate of about 1 book per year, we should have another 6 years of cool stuff to come yet. The Savage Detectives follows a couple of struggling writers on their adventures through Central America & then Western Europe & has all sorts of auto-biographical aspects... not unlike the best of Baldwin. But it's like Baldwin meets Carlos Ruiz Zafón, w/ a little Borges & Kerouac thrown in for good measure. Where Christopher Miller falls short w/ his post-modernism, Bolaño hits the mark perfectly.