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by Daniel Klein

Pub Date: April 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-57962-314-2
Publisher: Permanent Press

A hip editor takes the helm of Cogito, a stodgy philosophical journal, with mixed—and occasionally hilarious—results.

Digby Maxwell has recently left his job at New York Magazine under untoward circumstances—he has lost his ability to be able to spot “the very next thing”—and his initial hope is to get back his former position at the Village Voice. When owner and editor-in-chief  Phil Winston quickly disabuses him of that notion, Digby begins smoking a lot of pot and wondering about his future. Enter Felicia Hastings, owner/proprietor of Cogito, a journal known for the intellectual panache of its philosophical inquiry, who rather unaccountably chooses Digby to be the new editor-in-chief, succeeding her late husband, Bonner. Much to the disgust of some of the editorial staff, Digby decides to shake things up by having his first journal focus on the subject of heaven—scarcely worthy of serious analysis according to “real” philosophers. But Digby follows through, relying on old friends—one of whom is a world expert on comic books—to churn out a few metaphysical articles. He also meets Mary, a local Unitarian minister and widow, who has some serious views on the topic. Life gets complicated when Digby becomes smitten with Mary (though he is more intimately involved with the hypersexual Winny). Amid a personal life that’s falling apart—Digby’s wife has left him for Phil Winston, and his daughter Sylvie is making a good living writing online erotica—Digby tries to overcome Felicia’s plot to undermine her own journal and to woo the sweetly innocent Mary.

Klein has a light—or “lite”—touch when it comes to both philosophy and love.