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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

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Chronic City (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Chronic City (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307277527
ISBN10: 0307277526
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.50!

 

 

Reading Group Guide

"Astonishing....Knowing and exuberant, with beautiful drunken sentences that somehow manage to walk a straight line.....Turbocharged....Intricate and seamless....A dancing showgirl of a novel, yet beneath the gaudy makeup it's also the girl next door: a traditional bildungsroman with a strong moral compass."--New York Times Book Review

"Chronic City is a feverish portrait of the anxiety and isolation of modern Manhattan, full of dark humor and dazzling writing....proves both funny and frightening."--Entertainment Weekly

"Exuberant literary revving.....Lethem's vision of New York can approach the Swiftian. It is impressively observant in its detail and scourging in its mocking satire. There are any number of wicked portraits....His comments on New York life are often achingly exact....So pungent and imaginative"--The Boston Globe

"Ingenious and unsettling...Lethem pulls everything together in a stunning critique of our perceptions of reality and our preconceptions of the function of literature."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Exquisitely written...Funny and mystifying, eminently quotable, resolutely difficult, even heartbreaking, "Chronic City" demonstrates an imaginative breadth not quite of this world."--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A fluid sense of reality pervades these pages, which explore high society, urban politics, avant-garde art, celebrity mania and the dangers of information overload in an age where context is devalued or ignored....the quality of Lethem's prose and the exuberance of his imagination are reasons enough to read it.....When it comes to style, Lethem has few equals."--Miami Herald

"The novel functions much like Manhattan used to – a mad scramble of connections made and, more often, missed…make(s) a reader ache for a city long gone." –Esquire 

"Entertaining....a prosopographical investigation of New York City by way of a handful of strange, unclassifiable characters (and some remarkable writing)....splendidly observed"--Wall Street Journal

"Brilliant....exquisite wit and dazzling intricacy of every single paragraph......roves he's one of the most elegant stylists in the country, and he's capable of spinning surreal scenes that are equal parts noir and comedy.... evocative and engaging....As a reflection on modern alienation and the chronic loneliness that afflicts us in our faux world, this is beautifully, often powerfully done."--The Washington Post

"A sprawling book about pop culture and outer space…realistic and fantastic, serious and funny, warm and clear eyed. One of the new generation's most ambitious writers, Lethem again offers a novel that deals with nothing less important than the difference between truth and lies. And some stories about good cheeseburgers."--The Daily Beast 

"A stellar, multi-layered novel." – GQ 

"Lethem has often sought to interweave the realistic and the fantastic; in Chronic City the result is nearly seamless." - New York Magazine

"[Lethem is] a writer who resists pigeonholing....it's hard to remain unsusceptible to his euphoria"--Los Angeles Times

"Friction, charisma, unpleasantness, and threat are key to this tale of scintillating misfits.....dizzyingly brilliant urban enigma"--O Magazine

"One of America's finest novelists explores the disconnections among art, government, space travel and parallel realities, as his characters hunger for elusive meaning…… All truths and realities are open to interpretation, even negotiation, in this brilliantly rich novel….Lethem's most ambitious work to date."—Kirkus Reviews, starred

 "Pow! Letham has done it again. When it comes to brainy adventures full of laughter and heart this master has few equals. What a joy from the first page to the last."—Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook

 "I'm reminded of the well-rubbed Kafka line re: A book must be the axe to break the frozen sea within us. Lethem's book, with incredible fury, aspires to do little less. It's almost certainly his best novel. It's genuinely great."–David Shields, author of The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Anthony Childs, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Anthony Childs)
Having read most of Lethem's fiction & non-fiction publications, this book still surprised me in scope, depth, absurdity, humor, intricacy of plot and sub-plots, and most of all, the subtle wallop of the conclusion. I'm not trying to toy with words like it may sound. Even if you think on some level you are relating to the main character throughout the story (adventure, more like), the way the conclusion unravels you (may) discover just how outside-looking-in you've been, which in my mind brilliantly puts you firmly in touch with the main character. I might be pressed to further reiterate that no matter how bold Lethem's writing may often be, it still remains subtle almost beggaring belief.
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Serina, February 22, 2011 (view all comments by Serina)
Great writing about a bizarre, slightly skewed alternate Manhattan. The main characters are obsessive urbanites who are a bit self absorbed - but also strangely sympathetic. There is some very funny word play in the mix of pop culture from the real world and the alternate - "gnuppets" for muppets, "Obstinate Dust" for Infinite Jest. The writing is very distilled - each word seems considered with extra words dropped. But at the same time, the language is rich - he has a genius for using a surprising word that nails a description, thought or emotion.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
keith rossman, January 4, 2011 (view all comments by keith rossman)
Excellent book. Think Phillip K. Dick, but more approachable, and in many ways, more pleasingly written.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307277527
Author:
Lethem, Jonathan
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Lethem, Jonathan
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1 x 0.95 in 7.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Chronic City (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307277527 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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. Like Manhattan itself, Lethem's masterpiece is beautiful and tawdry, tragic and forgiving, devastating and antic, a stand-in for the whole world and a place utterly unique.
"Synopsis" by , 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 is trapped on a circling Space Station. A chance encounter collides Chase with Perkus Tooth, a wily pop culture guru with a vicious conspiratorial streak and the best marijuana in town. Despite their disparate backgrounds and trajectories Chase and Perkus discover they have a lot in common, including a cast of friends from all walks of life in Manhattan.  Together and separately they attempt to define the indefinable, and enter into a quest for the most elusive of things: truth and authenticity in a city where everything has a price. 

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