A novel that blends science fiction, satire, farce, and literary mystery. A mind-reading nursing assistant who moonlights as a superhero wakes up from an alcohol-induced stupor to photographs which seem to show him assaulting an unknown woman.
...[Maazel is] a dazzling prose stylist with a gift for creating characters caught in extraordinary situations that defy credulity. Imagine a situation comedy written by Phillip K. Dick or a telenovela penned by Thomas Pynchon ... At times this kitchen sink approach threatens to smother the story, but Maazel propels the narrative forward with her knack for evoking empathy out of the improbable and transforming coincidence into conspiracy. A Little More Human is a character-driven work of literary fiction that also happens to be a thriller guided by a web of intrigue with an ending that not even a mind reader could see coming.
A Little More Human, in its spiraling, fast-paced, witty prose, is stylistically reminiscent of the best of Vonnegut and Pynchon, and its humor, combined with an exploration and critique of technology, sets the story squarely in the realm of contemporary novels such as Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story and Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe ... Though such a multiplicity of plot elements may have suffered at the hands of a less-talented writer — the equivalent of an over-confident juggler dropping six or seven plates and then treading on their shards — Maazel succeeds by mapping a variety of generic concerns onto the relatively simple through-line of a mystery.
Maazel’s omniscient narrator performs a more conventional kind of literary mind reading, revealing the thoughts of these characters and detailing their various motives. But the prevalence of plotting tends to reduce potentially complex figures to narrative devices ... Maazel’s prose, meanwhile, is less style-conscious than it was in her previous books and more lab-manual functional — sometimes technical, usually straightforward and active, rarely figurative or buzzing. For these reasons, A Little More Human seems intended to be as much a high-concept entertainment as a literary novel ... This is an unquestionably brainy book. I only wish it were as free-spirited and buoyant as the two that preceded it.