Chronic City

Chronic City The acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions desires and lies Ch

  • Title: Chronic City
  • Author: Jonathan Lethem
  • ISBN: 9780385518635
  • Page: 120
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous, searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires, and lies.Chase Insteadman, a handsome, inoffensive fixture on Manhattan s social scene, lives off residuals earned as a child star on a beloved sitcom called Martyr Pesty Chase owThe acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous, searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires, and lies.Chase Insteadman, a handsome, inoffensive fixture on Manhattan s social scene, lives off residuals earned as a child star on a beloved sitcom called Martyr Pesty Chase owes his current social cachet to an ongoing tragedy much covered in the tabloids His teenage sweetheart and fianc e, Janice Trumbull, is trapped by a layer of low orbit mines on the International Space Station, from which she sends him rapturous and heartbreaking love letters Like Janice, Chase is adrift, she in Earth s stratosphere, he in a vague routine punctuated by Upper East Side dinner parties Into Chase s cloistered city enters Perkus Tooth, a wall eyed free range pop critic whose soaring conspiratorial riffs are fueled by high grade marijuana, mammoth cheeseburgers, and a desperate ache for meaning Perkus s countercultural savvy and voracious paranoia draw Chase into another Manhattan, where questions of what is real, what is fake, and who is complicit take on a life shattering urgency Along with Oona Laszlo, a self loathing ghostwriter, and Richard Abneg, a hero of the Tompkins Square Park riot now working as a fixer for the billionaire mayor, Chase and Perkus attempt to unearth the answers to several mysteries that seem to offer that rares

    • Chronic City Best Read || [Jonathan Lethem]
      120 Jonathan Lethem

    About “Jonathan Lethem

    • Jonathan Lethem

      Jonathan Allen Lethem born February 19, 1964 is an American novelist, essayist and short story writer.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 science fiction novels In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Circle Award winning novel that achieved mainstream success In 2003, he published The Fortress of Solitude, which became a New York Times Best Seller In 2005, he received a MacArthur Fellowship

    298 thoughts on “Chronic City

    • I thought I was done with this simulacrum bulls t Really, I did One of the reasons why Charlie Kaufman s Synecdoche, NY failed to impress me as a mind blowing masterpiece was its to my mind lazy employment of this most common of postmodernist tropes, this tired hand me down from Dick and Ba udri llard and The Matrix and eXistenZ and etcetera whatever nevermind I wished for a moratorium on films and books incorporating the idea that WHAT IF REALITY IS JUST, LIKE, AN ILLUSION, MAN, and all its lab [...]


    • Onvan Chronic City Nevisande Jonathan Lethem ISBN 385518633 ISBN13 9780385518635 Dar 467 Safhe Saal e Chap 2009


    • Moments of 5 star writing here but I found myself unable to have the kind of deep, caring engagement with the story arcs and characters that such a rating generally requires That said, the book was fully entertaining all the way through Jam packed with humorous and thoughtful riffs and meta riffs on pop culture, avant garde art, stoned philosophizing all pulled through the looking glass of Lethem s penchant for Noirish Mystery and geekish cataloging Clever but not too clever The most enjoyable a [...]


    • In which Lethem tackles paranoia and conspiracy theory, in other words, DeLillo and Pynchon territory.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 frame by [...]


    • I was enthralled with this strange tour of the dope inspired concerns of a contemporary group of Manhattanites They form a circle of friends around a visionary former rock critic named Perkus Tooth The portrait rendered of New York as a pocket universe for these characters seems like a pleasant cross between the disturbing delusions in novels by Philip K Dick and the fun self fulfilling quests in Vonnegut tales From hybrid vigor, the offspring is satirical but not vicious, solipsistic but not sm [...]


    • Shortly after a bout of sobriety and a return to Portland, from Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of seeing Jonathan Lethem give a reading in the building where I work I ve expressed opposition to public readings before, or at least a considerable amount of disdain toward an interest in the celebrity status of certain authors admittedly a preoccupation or opinion derived from William Gaddis s thoughts on the subject I was in total agreement with this man about how irrelevant it was to endlessly prob [...]


    • Long live Perkus Tooth He must live, he is our Don Quixote, our post 9 11 innocent even chaste madman making of his own delusions or, as I prefer, his own powers of imagination a marvelously engaging and living world, the living world of this extremely entertaining novel.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 levels [...]


    • I had to force myself to finish this one I love Lethem s style and concepts, but this story lacked any real plot in my eyes the characters just bungle around while being pretty unlikeable Chase was a loser, pretty much, and Perkus was one step from being the stereotypical smart yet weird, stoner, faux intellectual It wasn t that the story was boring it was just useless and borderline cliche in some aspects I couldn t empathize with a lazy once actor, nor with an evidently smart but absolute nutt [...]


    • Don t rupture another s illusion unless you re positive the alternative you offer is worthwhile than that from which you re wrenching them Interrogate your solipsism Does it offer any better a home than the delusions you re reaching to shatter 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 Don t misinterpr [...]


    • Jonathan Lethem escribi Hu rfanos de Brooklyn , uno de los libros m s desternillantes que he le do nunca, cuyo protagonista es un detective con el s ndrome de Tourette Chronic City , en mi opini n bastante inferior a aquella, contiene tambi n momentos realmente divertidos Pero el aire que Lethem le ha dado a Chronic City no es el mismo que el de Hu rfanos de Brooklyn o La Fortaleza de la Soledad , su obra magna Se trata m s bien de una obra ca tica y dist pica, todo un homenaje a dos de sus auto [...]


    • My favourite German word is bummel, I also am very fond of the word Schmetterling just becuase it is so very unevocative.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 sometime [...]


    • During those infinite summers of junior high, I would spend two or three nights a week at friends and one night hosting others Such led to largely nocturnal existence, collapsing towards dawn only to wake at noon and go swimming Role Playing Games, junk food and the new portals of Atari and VCRs extended a rather free reign to explore One evening we were at my friend David s house, eating frozen pizza and talking about Culture Club or, maybe, Chuck Norris Suddenly around 1 a.m David s very pregn [...]


    • This is my favorite of Lethem s novel thus far Fortress of Solitude had moments of brilliance, but the language felt too wanna be DeLillo Motherless Brooklyn was a bit dull for me, though others I know really love that book I resent his novel about Silver Lake I have not read it, nor will I I realize it s merely an entertainment in an ouevre of serious books, but after spending a whole novel complaining about the gentrification of Brooklyn, why go and write a novel about an east side LA neighbo [...]


    • First, a disclaimer Chronic City will most definitely NOT be a 5 star book for everybody as evidenced by the mixed reviews here However, I can t be objective and knock a star or two off in order to quantify that, since it was one of the most engaging, thought provoking, and just plain fun novels I ve read in quite a while, with some of the most sublime prose in modern fiction.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 best d [...]


    • It was inevitable, perhaps 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 Men, but h [...]


    • I was looking forward to reading this book, I really was But as I got farther into it, hoping that something interesting would happen, I found myself wanting to do other things pretty much anything else, including dusting and emptying the dishwasher rather than read this book.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 of Janice T [...]


    • Apologies in advance to all fans of Jonathan Lethem, but I found Chronic City an incredibly silly, overblown and tedious book The author never seems to be able to decide whether he wants to create a kind of Pynchonesque delirium, in which eclectic literary artifact matters than character and plot, or a simple comedy of manners set in Manhattan and the result is an uneven mess He never really answers the question if he ever even considered asking himself why the general reader should be interest [...]


    • A floating fresco of urban renewal, outsider cultural criticism, and the puppet strings of power Lethem s Manhattan is an island of literalized metaphor and dreamlike sets, one which he is nonetheless able to convey with a sort of conviction through an often thoroughly believable cast all improbably Dickensian names and satiric caricatures aside As usual, he s immensely readable, his plotting incongruous but ultimately convergent Perhaps a little overly convergent, as after a while it starts to [...]


    • Dazzlingly ambitious Breathtakingly insightful Flawlessly, flawlessly written.And an absolutely unbearable slog to read This book made me so angry Lethem is clearly a genius he writes like no other and thinks like no other but a good novelist he is clearly not Jonathan, listen to your editor or get a good one This should have been a collection of essays stories or connected thought pieces on city life like his fellow Brooklytterati Colson Whitehead s great Colossus of New York , it would totally [...]


    • Well, I ve been wary lately of Jonathan Lethem, who I hear has put out a few clunkers since the stunning Fortress of Solitude But here s a quote of his about this book from an interview with Brooklyn Based One of my thoughts to myself when I started this book was that it was kind of an interminable and nightmarish Seinfeld episode the three guys and the girl hanging out in the apartment having these self obsessed conversations about nothing Sign me up


    • A smart and really enjoyable novel about navigating simulacra, authenticity, and free will It makes me think of another book I really liked, The Invention of Morel, that explored the same themes in a much minimalist way Lethem s book has the added bonus of compelling, well drawn characters and an involving plot I m not knocking the Invention of Morel it s just that book is of a thought exercise Chronic City was fascinating to think about, well written, and enjoyable all around.


    • I m generally a huge fan of Mr Lethem s prose, but this book eludes me There s a great play with the thematic twinning of fake versus real, whether Manhattan itself can be a sort of illusionist dreamscape with its flotilla of rich upper crust East Siders, its quirky on the fringe inhabitants, its hobos and entrepreneurs and underground trade denizens I was than once reminded of Matrix, especially when the discussion centered around simulated reality, but in the end, I m just puzzled That Matrix [...]


    • For a few days I thought of not reviewing this book I was so angry with it I just felt it would be a review full of venom But as the days have passed and I ve moved on to another book and the duties of daily living, my anger has dispersed.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 real n [...]


    • As of page 130 something, better than Bonfire of the Vanities Or is it Bonfire as told by Philip K Dick Obsessive, funny, and tragic all at once.11.27Finished 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 City life ch [...]


    • I wanted to like this book and I m not so sure I didn t.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 The [...]


    • Chronic Cityis a blithe flume of a book, looping off in multiple tangents, pissing on sacred cows.I am ruminating on a review


    • Es ist schon ein etwas seltsames Buch Ein Tiger, der sich durch New York gr bt ein ein ugiger Kulturkritiker merkw rdiger Schokoladengeruch, der ber der ganzen Stadt liegt All das verbindet Lethem zu einem gro en N.Y Roman, w hrend jedes Ereignis dennoch f r sich bleibt Doch von Anfang an 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 Chase aus [...]


    • Chase Insteadman vive a expensas de las re emisiones de un programa infantil en el que act o cuando era ni o, y para matar el tiempo acepta peque os trabajos en la industria cinematogr fica En uno de ellos conoce a Perkus Tooth, un enigm tico y extravagante paranoico que vive obsesionado con las conspiraciones ocultas tras las referencias cin filas que bullen en su mente En su desordenado departamento concluye tambi n los caminos de otros personajes Richard, asistente del alcalde de Nueva York, [...]


    • I haven t enjoyed a book so much in ages It is laugh out loud funny and the contemporary cultural references to bands, places, and pop icons make you feel smart Then Lethem throws us a curve by inventing events, like a chocolate smell that engulfs Manhattan, that are just close enough to what really happened to be reminiscent and send you to google for confirmation That seems to be the point his characters talk about Baudrillard and virtual worlds theory even as his novel enacts the philosophica [...]


    • For most of this book, I felt certain I d give it 3 stars yes, these are things I think about whilst reading Then at the end, a lot of loose ends came together in a most interesting way and I decided to up it a step.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 than once I wondered why I was reading this overlong book about stoner deadbeats lou [...]


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