Poets & Writers, "The New Nonfiction 2019"
Two Dollar Radio, August Bookclub Pick
“Complex and thick with wonder and curiosity."
Jewish Book Council
" Love Drones makes us reconsider what we take for granted and reveals new networks of communication geopolitical, emotional, and aesthetic."
Joe Sacksteder, Full Stop
“Between the shutter of a camera and the barrel of a rifle, essayist Noam Dorr perfectly situates us to feel with him along the edges of un-nameable hurt and hate and love, to come to realize, as he eloquently puts it, that to perceive through sight alone is to exclude the world.”
"The intensity of Noam Dorr’s prose is only matched by the intensity of his forms: both his sentences and the myriad disguises in which his essays cloak themselves burst with explosions, fissures, fractures, wanderings, and wonderings. Dorr presents a world where everything encapsulates its exact opposite; he shows us the grip of duality, how love can be an incendiary device, how eros leads to detonations, how danger and beauty feed off of each other. Love Drones is an arresting debut that grips at the ideas of identity, division, love, and the many kinds of crossing overs and losses and recoveries that bring us to where we are."
“Noam Dorr sees things others don’t and wants you to experience them in ways that others won’t. I did, and you should too. If form’s the jam for Noam, it’s not the only jam: Love Drones has an ethical and intellectual weight and light inside it too. What you’re holding may look like a book but it’s a goddamn hypercube.”
“ Love Drones bristles with divergent forms of caring, contributing to a pleasurably unsettled settling of a book. Through a series of curated dis-assemblages, Noam Dorr foregrounds and reverses what it means to be subjects in landscapes of memory and anecdote, of taste and feeling and attention (love). Or, rather, he traps us in divisions, small threats, looming violence, and unremitting political attention (drones). Do we know home, harbor, or a sense of wonder? Or are we shaped inevitably into parts and pieces by haunted imaginations and histories of silence? I know no answers from this diamond-hard book, but I am so glad to carry its unforgettable and beautifully wrought questions.”
“Technology is the background hum of our lives, the drone we cannot escape. It purports to make our lives more efficient while rendering our most intimate interactionswar and violence, love, desire, empathyincreasingly meaningless. Dorr’s book is a subtle examination of the ways in which technology transforms our world into a kind of machine. The essays themselves are cyborgicpart poem, history, cultural criticism, war elegy, and memoir. They blend various literary genres together to create something intellectually explosive and entirely new. It’s a gorgeous and powerful book.”
"Noam Dorr made it clear that nonfiction is the place where genre definitions go to get broken."
Nicole Walker, Essay Daily
Of drones, mechanical and musical and otherwise, in a mixed bag of essays and experimental prose pieces.
Israeli-born writer Dorr finds a powerful symbol in the airborne drone. "The Predator drone," he writes, "looks like a blind whale…but nonetheless its sensors are better than my eyes." The drone operator may live in Las Vegas, where he or she sees the world reduced to architectural metaphors—the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice—but still steers that blind whale to targets half a world away from the death that is to follow. "If I had a drone I would point it to the moon to see how far it would go," the author writes on a faux naif note that doesn't do his preamble much good. From there, Dorr spins off into meditations on such things as oranges ("the average number of segments in an orange is said to be ten"), guns ("A friend who has never served tells me guns are not good or evil, people are good or evil. I tell him guns were made by people"), airports, espionage, and love ("In another life this Eros would be the splitting of an orange, segments handed around and shared"). At his strongest, Dorr delivers nicely Kafkaesque apothegms ("It would be lovely and terrible to live in a world made of glass"). However, he sometimes takes experimentation into incomprehensibility: "If I were to say that when I arrived at the bed and breakfast in Amsterdam and I father, my grandmother's brother, took over the family inheritance and she never when later I realized on those cobbled streets that in August in Amsterdam it is only I saw…." The reader's patience for such things will hinge on how much he or she enjoys enshrinements of the trivial (peeling an orange) that are placed on the same rhetorical level as portentous statements of larger meaning (the deadly drone).
A postmodern jumble with a few hits but more misses.