This is by no means a great work of literature, it is an experiment with the form and concept of a novel, an exquisite corpse. It is a study of the commercially saturated experience of living in New York City, with an undercurrent of lived cultural critique. In descriptions of monetized movement and the fashionable efficiency with which the streets must be navigated and the traffic always flows, it links corporate to corporeal. I laughed and cringed all the way.— Angelina
Set in post-9/11 New York City, Reena Spaulings was written by a large collective of writers and artists that bills itself as The Bernadette Corporation. Like most contemporary fiction, Reena Spaulings is about a female twenty-something. Reena is discovered while working as a museum guard and becomes a rich international supermodel. Meanwhile, a bout of terrible weather seizes New York, leaving in its wake a strange form of civil disobedience that stirs its citizens to mount a musical song-and-dance riot called "Battle on Broadway." Fashioned in the old Hollywood manner by a legion of professional and amateur writers striving to achieve the ultimate blockbuster, the musical ends up being about a nobody who could be anybody becoming a somebody for everybody. The result is generic and perfect—not unlike Reena Spaulings itself, whose many authors create a story in which New York itself strives to become the ultimate collective experiment in which the only thing shared is the lack of uniqueness.