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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Erickson's funniest and most intensely confessional novel edges Los Angeles up against the next millennium and into a vortex of fire. The city is a surreal landscape overrun by abducted strippers, nomadic artists, reluctant pornographers, subversive newspaper columnists, alienated movie critics, teenage hookers afraid of the rain, and legendary filmmakers who may or may ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Owl Books (NY) (first published May 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without question the least, the most ephemeral of the novels by Erickson that I've read—which means, Zeroville excluded, the lot of 'em. Allegedly the most autobiographical fiction he has penned, Amnesiascope presented the heretofore absent scenario of finding myself bored with select portions of the authorial vision, in particular his presentation of an apocalyptic Los Angeles basin ringed by concentric circles of quake/riot-spawned fire and its tethered curtain of ash. The time-zone shifts; ...more
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: slipstream
There are certain truisms about Steve Erickson's novels. First, if you like the first one you read, you'll probably like the rest. Characters will pass from one book to the next, wandering ghostlike through quasi-apocalyptic Los Angeles cityscapes. Sometimes the story is dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish (which is the case with _Amnesiascope_). After reading _Tours of the Black Clock_ I was happy to find I enjoyed this novel a bit more.

Note: try and read Erickson's books in order of publication
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Spiritual bloodletting. Overlapping ruminations funneling core mysteries, confessing exorcisms of the self.
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Meh. Lots of whiny introspection, peppered by brief moments of sex. No plot to speak of. Unlikeable, self-absorbed narrator. Nowhere near the quality of Erickson's better books.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1990s, loved
I devoured this book in 24 hours...
This was too good to be true and completely impossible to put down.
Let me start out by saying, if you are a fan of Kathe Koja, you should really check out Steve Erickson, and vice versa. You will thank me later, trust me!
They have a similar writing style, which I believe is referred to a "stream of consciousness". Erickson and Koja also have a secretive way of writing a GRITTY original story that begins to crawl around your brain like a venomous predator
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Jason foisted this upon me, and I have no idea what to think as yet. I will say that the cover and a few lines he read to me made me think of William Gibson... and given that, I'm excited to read more. Neuromancer is totally the shit.

Likely, one of the most emotionally-inspiring novels I have ever read. This likely reflects on me in a very negative light; however, this is probably one of the most honest books I've read in the last few years; and while I can relate, it doesn't mean I'm
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't notice this book was also by Steve Erickson, whose Rubicon Beach I read recently, but in hindsight it was obvious. There is a similar ethereality about both stories, despite this one more closely following a single main character in what I think is a chronological series of events.

The protagonist is a writer in a sort of dystopian L.A., who used to be an author but now writes film reviews for a local paper. Significant events in America are hinted at throughout the story, with buildings
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I hesitated between 2 and 3 stars for this book. No plot, no believable characters should have marked it down, but I found bits of it entertaining, particularly the set up of the possibly imaginary film that features from time to time through what might be called the narrative. I have been tempted to read Erickson before, I doubt I will be again, there are just too many better books still to read.
Allan MacDonell
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Futuristic dreamscape narratives of down-at-the-heel writers eking out a sex life in apocalyptic L.A. don’t stay futuristic for long, but the good ones, epitomized by Steve Erickson’s Amnesiascope, become all the more of-the-moment as time catches up with the events on their alternative horizons. A bit dated and better for it, like any true emotional history from a time that never happened.
Kim Zinkowski
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sab Cornelius
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok <--- I do book blogging on the side, so posted my full review here. [Site is currently A WIP]
Danny Lindsay
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erickson's most autobiographical novel is also his angriest, his most overtly sexual, and his most sentimental. The brazenly pornographic lovemaking scenes might get tedious if they weren't rendered so beautifully dreamlike, and anyway each one is interrupted by Erickson's always-mesmerizing musings on love, writing, and, yet again, the meaning of America. The book can be very funny (particularly in one scene where Erickson's car is stolen right from under him). The writing takes on an ...more
PJ Who Once Was Peejay
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I wish this novel was still in print (though you can buy it used) because it was one of those reading experiences that completely took me over. If you are looking for heavily plot-driven fiction, however, this may not be the book for you. Things do happen in Amnesiascope, conveyed through the narrator's hilarious, pathetic, decadent but conscience-ridden monologue, but this is a novel which is less about plot and much more about voice and place. Erickson's romantic-cynic narrator explores what's ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It6 got old reading Erickson's protagonist's ramblings. Having lived in many of the locations in LA mentioned in the book kept my attention for about a minute.
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Angelinos, people looking for something, postmodernists
It wasn't as good as The Sea Came In At Midnight, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the idea of the post-earthquake post-apocalyptic LA, and the way he set that up. In fact, I pretty much liked everything, but I guess I was spoiled by how awesome the book was which I had just finished. This one dealt a little less with chaos and a lot more with the protagonist's emotional exploration, and I think I liked that the least. Still, the way that towards the end of his book, all evidence of his life ...more
Adam Johnson
I saw this as sort of a departure for Erickson, in that the whole thing is told from the perspective of one character, and it doesn't jump across multiple story threads that may or may not even take place in the same reality. It also feels a lot less "put-together" than his other books; it almost seems like he only had a fragment of an idea for this one, and he just used the rest of the book to get some things off his chest. Several times while reading it, I felt like I was just reading his ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, dystopia
Fell flat with me. Considerably less focused than Zeroville which was itself no laser beam. I liked the Zeroville guy but had no connection at all with this narrator (who is allegedly a much more autobiographical character, sorry Mr Erickson). There's nice hunks here but the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

The "post-cataclysm" setting sometimes seems post-cataclysmic, and sometimes seems like a plain old regular world.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sorry, I tried very hard to like the book -- but after about a dozen attempts I just failed and was not able to finish it [and I just hate that]. This stream of consciousness approach just killed it for me. It is a fun, if weird, world setup but the characters are also not that interesting and frankly, don't inspire much caring for their fate.
Jamie Bezerra
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If only for the language and the imagery that language creates, this is one of my favorite books. I can say more, but what would be the point? This book haunts me. Read it, don't read it, I don't care. It already belongs to me anyway.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
As far as sex narratives in Los Angeles go, this was somewhere between the guilty pleasures of The L Word and the stomach sickness of a Bukowski novel. Something very primal in me wanted to see this city burn.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Don't know what to make of this... Expected science fiction, but got the narrators view on life in general, and women in particular in detail. Trying to decide if it was very profound, or a waste of time...
Dec 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Not as good as most of his author novels. Kind of autobiographical, mixing that in with fantasy. Some cool stuff, like the time zone in L.A. changing every few minutes while the protagonist is driving.
Notcathy J
Jun 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
Cathy has quoted me saying, "Matter is neither created nor destroyed, but luxury condos are created and affordable housing is destroyed." Also: "I knew it was a problem, but I didn't know it was a bunion."
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Man, this book was odd...and I think that's why I liked it. I really enjoy Erickson's prose, though I can barely recall what this book was about. It was more than a little surreal.
Cristina Santoro
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I just needed this book to go SOMEWHERE to make it a good read. Fell a bit flat in plot and character development.
Dec 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
"...Erickson's funniest..."


Sixty pages into the book and had not had a laugh yet even a smile. Bunch of nothing. Gave up.
Afraid of trying to start other of his books.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
appropriate title, its only been a few weeks since i finished this book and i cant remember anything other than it had numerous sex scenes and something about terrorists.
Transgender Bathroom
If you'd like to know what I thought of this book, please contact me directly and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

All the best,

- TB
May 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure this book was worth the time it took to read.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
i have a draft of my review for this book.. so this is just a placeholder... yes...
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Steve Erickson is the author of ten novels: Days Between Stations, Rubicon Beach, Tours of the Black Clock, Arc d'X, Amnesiascope, The Sea Came in at Midnight, Our Ecstatic Days, Zeroville, These Dreams of You and Shadowbahn. He also has written two books about American politics and popular culture, Leap Year and American Nomad. Numerous editions have been published in English, Spanish, French, ...more
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