The book's final roll call of subjects Robert Bresson, Georges Simenon, Brecht, and Weill as filtered through Harry Smith is vital and dramatically potent.
A lifetime of sharpening sentences like so many knives means that Indiana knows how to write an intro: "You could infer from the production notes that Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain would be useful if it came in a spray can. Spritz a little on a fundamentalist and change him into a liberal, or neutralize a whole church of basement of rednecks with a full-strength tolerance bomb." When he detonates explosives by pious pop culture it makes for entertaining reading. But the peak stretches of Utopia's Debris occur within assessments of a wide variety Gavin Lambert, Mary Wornov, Caroline Blackwood, Rudolph Wurlitzer, Witold Gombrowicz, Thomas Bernhard, Curzio Malaparte, Jean Echenoz, Emmanul Carrère of anti-canonical novelists. Through them, Indiana wrestles with his own ideas about life and chosen calling in a manner that is revelatory.