The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$5.95
Used Trade Paper
Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Unknown Knowns

by

The Unknown Knowns Cover

ISBN13: 9781416587026
ISBN10: 1416587020
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $5.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jim Rath's wife has grown tired of his hobbies: his immaculately maintained comics collection, his creepy underwater experiments, and his dreams of building a museum based on the Aquatic Ape Theory of Human Evolution. On the night that she leaves him, Jim thinks he has spotted an emissary from a lost aquatic race called the Nautikons. In truth, the man is a low-level agent of the Department of Homeland Security. What follows is a riveting story of two quixotic men who stalk each other toward a bloody showdown — a spectacularly moronic act of terrorism at an aging water park.

The Unknown Knowns — its title is a reference to a quote from former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld — is a brilliant send-up of the insidious language and sometimes tragically comic focus of our country's Homeland Security Department. Combining the social satire of Kurt Vonnegut with the paranoid delusions of Thomas Pynchon, Rotter takes everyday domestic fixations and turns them into a hilarious assessment of the human condition. Fresh, imaginative, and deft, The Unknown Knowns marks the arrival of a unique new voice in literary fiction.

Review:

"Jim Rath has an unusual set of ambitions: 'My goal was a thorough understanding of water,' he says. 'But not on a chemical level. Not in any way you could test....I wanted to know why the water is always calling to us, what it wants to tell us.' In this ambling adventure, he attempts to find out. Combining Rath's story (including the predictable dissolution of his marriage) with that of Homeland Security agent Les Diaz, Rotter, in his first novel, weaves a semisuspenseful tale of (possible) international terrorism and, uh, water parks. Parading from a Colorado Springs, Colo., Hilton all the way to the Prospector's Bend theme park outside of Denver, Rath and Diaz engage in a battle of something like wits; Diaz thinks Rath is a jihadist, while Rath — at best a dreamer, at worst a psychopath — thinks Diaz is a merman from an imaginary underwater city. While Rotter makes a solid effort, the fantasy element of the book remains half-baked and, despite the timely and biting humor throughout, the thrill of the goofy 320-page chase isn't quite enough." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A comic novel of paranoia, misdirection and suicide....An offbeat and Pynchonesque debut, with some genuinely funny moments — and some freakishly aberrant ones." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] Vonnegut-esque tale of delusion, violence and homeland security... a hyperintelligent, surrealistic tale with a wackiness factor worthy of Kilgore Trout." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"A wonderful book — smart, tight, and funny — Confederacy of Dunces meets Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. I loved it." Douglas Coupland

Review:

"Jeffrey Rotter's first novel inhabits — and illuminates — an eerie landscape where romantic fantasy, paranoid delusion, and homeland security thrillingly intersect: in other words, twenty-first-century America." Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me and The Keep

Synopsis:

The Unknown Knowns — a reference to a quote from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — combines social satire with paranoid delusions, in this brilliant send-up of the sometimes tragically comic focus of America's Homeland Security department.

About the Author

Jeffrey Rotter holds an MFA from Hunter College where he studied under Peter Carey, Colson Whitehead, Colum McCann, and Andrew Sean Greer and was awarded the Hertog fellowship to perform research for Jennifer Egan. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and young son. The Unknown Knowns is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mclarenster, February 17, 2010 (view all comments by mclarenster)
This whack-a-doodle has so much going on that is just amusing and amazing. It isn't, however, the whole Homeland Security/mistaken identity storyline that's so winning--it's the story of the Aquatic Apes. Theirs is the story that really sticks with me, months after reading the book. I like reading something that seems new, story-wise, and this does.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416587026
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Rotter, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Scribner
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Mistaken identity
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Publication Date:
20090317
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Piano Teacher
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. Pictures at an Exhibition
    Used Hardcover $7.95
  3. Beat the Reaper
    Used Mass Market $1.95
  4. Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest...
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    Used Book Club Paperback $4.50
  6. Cutting for Stone
    Used Hardcover $10.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Unknown Knowns Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781416587026 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Jim Rath has an unusual set of ambitions: 'My goal was a thorough understanding of water,' he says. 'But not on a chemical level. Not in any way you could test....I wanted to know why the water is always calling to us, what it wants to tell us.' In this ambling adventure, he attempts to find out. Combining Rath's story (including the predictable dissolution of his marriage) with that of Homeland Security agent Les Diaz, Rotter, in his first novel, weaves a semisuspenseful tale of (possible) international terrorism and, uh, water parks. Parading from a Colorado Springs, Colo., Hilton all the way to the Prospector's Bend theme park outside of Denver, Rath and Diaz engage in a battle of something like wits; Diaz thinks Rath is a jihadist, while Rath — at best a dreamer, at worst a psychopath — thinks Diaz is a merman from an imaginary underwater city. While Rotter makes a solid effort, the fantasy element of the book remains half-baked and, despite the timely and biting humor throughout, the thrill of the goofy 320-page chase isn't quite enough." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A comic novel of paranoia, misdirection and suicide....An offbeat and Pynchonesque debut, with some genuinely funny moments — and some freakishly aberrant ones."
"Review" by , "[A] Vonnegut-esque tale of delusion, violence and homeland security... a hyperintelligent, surrealistic tale with a wackiness factor worthy of Kilgore Trout."
"Review" by , "A wonderful book — smart, tight, and funny — Confederacy of Dunces meets Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. I loved it."
"Review" by , "Jeffrey Rotter's first novel inhabits — and illuminates — an eerie landscape where romantic fantasy, paranoid delusion, and homeland security thrillingly intersect: in other words, twenty-first-century America."
"Synopsis" by , The Unknown Knowns — a reference to a quote from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — combines social satire with paranoid delusions, in this brilliant send-up of the sometimes tragically comic focus of America's Homeland Security department.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.