Synopses & Reviews
This book could be some kind of allegory book, but it might not be an allegory book at all. It involves people and drinking and people looking for a giant eye. It is among the best things Mr. Lethem has written. This book is a very slim hardcover book, and it is priced at $9. It is being priced at $9 because Mr. Lethem asked McSweeney's how low a book of this size could be priced without everyone losing money. "Could we get it under $10?" he asked. We did some math and guessed that $9 would be possible.
"Henry Farbur, a hard-drinking and wisecracking retired general, lives with his wife in the boring 'subburrows' (a euphemism for bowels) of the mysterious shape referred to in the title. He spends his time mixing cocktails and hovering over his barbecue, willfully avoiding troubling questions like 'What is the shape?' And, 'What is the destiny of its inhabitants?' He is gradually coaxed out of his complacency after he learns that his estranged son has been seen begging in the vicinity of the shape's eye. This very slim volume recounts Farbur's quest, through the murky bars, orgies, spine and lungs of the shape, to find his son, as well as a fabled 'third eye' that will offer a revelatory glimpse of the outside world. It's hard to become too deeply involved in Farbur's odyssey and what it might or might not mean; the story feels rushed and underdeveloped. It's also witty and inventive....[I]t's a clever but minor exercise from a talented writer." Jennifer Reese, The New York Times Book Review
Lethem, author of the bestselling Motherless Brooklyn , returns in concentrated form - packing twice the adventure into one-eighth the pages. This book could be some kind of allegory book, but it might not be an allegory book at all. It involves people and drinking and people looking for a giant eye. It is among the best things Mr. Lethem has written.
About the Author
JONATHAN LETHEM'S novels include Motherless Brooklyn and Girl In Landscape.