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Preview — Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem
The bestselling and beloved author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude delivers a searing love letter to the city that has inspired his finest work.
Chase Insteadman, former child television star, has a new role in life—permanent guest on the Upper East Side dinner party circuit, where he is consigned to talk about his astronaut fiancée, Janice Trumbull, who
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Tooth is at war with illusion, using his own illusions as weapons, and it’s this clashing of culture’s false illusions and Tooth’s real illusions that creates life. There is nothing real, or rather the real exists at basic...more
For me, this book was a long, meandering walk through the city in the early hours of t...more
Chronic City is the book with which I acknowledge to myself that Jonathan Lethem has joined the ranks of Don DeLillo, Paul Auster, Nicholson Baker, Joanna Scott, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and so many others -- which is to say, he has left the vaunted zone of Those Who (to Me, At Least) Can Do No Wrong, and he has entered the zone of Those Who I Still (Kinda) Really Like (Most of the Time). David Foster Wallace had made a similar move, around the time of Hideous...more
Knowing that Lethem described his initial idea about this book as ostensibly a seinfeld episode, four people sitting in an apartment riffing about nothing at all, provides a wee bit of context.
The subplot I wish Lethem delved further into was the relationship between the protagonist and his astronaut wife who is stranded in space. I found myself making a mental list of all the possible implications, symbolism, and metaphors this carries. Th...more
Wir lernen Chase Insteadman kennen, einen ehemaligen Kinderstar, der noch heute von den Tantiemen der Serie lebt, in welcher er vor Jahren mitgespielt hat. Abgesehen von seinem bezaubernden Charme, ist C...more
Chronic City is an exploration in a wordy world of meaningless. Jonathan Lethem has written books I really like. That’s why reading this book for me was so difficult to take. Lethem force feeds us the lives of Chase Insteadman and Perkus Tooth. Yes those are...more
The Manhattan they inhabit is a similarly doomed word to the space station, bathed in fog, pocked with man-made art chasms and ravaged by a giant tiger; and yet this book works as effortl...more
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I won't recount the circumstances of the book, which concern charm...more
Now two painful admissions. Number 1) I really disliked this book. Insanely. Number 2) I agree with just about everything Kakutani wrote.
Oh, how it pains me to say it, but I think this book is self-indulgent, pretentious, and not very satisfying on any level. I felt n...more
Lethem gives us a motley crew of Upper East Side oddballs to start “Chronic City.” Chase Insteadman, child star of a TV sitcom, now lives comfortably on royalties but is dealing with renewed publicity as the fiance o...more
His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. It was followed by three more science fiction novels. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel t...more