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, wh
The most enjoya ...more
There’s a wonderful book struggling to get out of this rambling oblique farce of a novel. The full blooded obsessive vigilance of conspiracy theorists would make a great subject for a modern novel – the watchdogs who watch the watchdogs, an informed elite calling to account a sinister informed elite at the other end of the political spectrum. I watched a video yesterday where a guy examined fram ...more
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
― Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City
I really wanted to like Chronic City. I really wanted to enjoy Lethem's latest NY story. Sorry, no go. The problem is Letham falls straight into a void, a hole, existing between Michael Chabon and William Gibson. D ...more
At its very best this book is a bummel, defined to copy paste from jerome k jerome
"A 'Bummel'," I explained, "I should describe as a journey, long or short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity of getting back within a given time to the point from which one started. Sometimes it is through busy streets, and sometimes through the fields and lanes; ...more
Here's a simple test to help determine if this will be a 5-star book for you, or a 3. Please choose the answer that b ...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
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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
Finished this last night.
Every once in a while, a book comes along that so clearly articulates how you feel about: cities, the internet (virtual realities, avatars), 9/11, NYC, love, sickness, and death. This is that book for me.
My wife and I have a long running gag about a friend who refers to About a Boy as "Life changing". Well is Chronic Ci ...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
I am ruminating on a review...
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
I've read several Lethem books, and he's a wonderful writer. This book is no exception; it's fabulously well-written. The problem, here, is the plot. It plods along at an excruciating pace at times, and more than once I wondered why I was reading this overlong book about stoner de ...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
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