If Jonathan Lethem's novels were food they would pile the pounds on those who consume them, not from empty calories but from a rich feast of extravagant fare, like lobster in drawn butter or Eggs Benedict swimming in creamy hollandaise. It invariably takes me a long time to read his books because every page bursts with lush language. Lethem uses words and tosses reality around with awe-inspiring creativity. With the possible exception of Motherless Brooklyn
(which I loved and re-read to savor the sheer sumptuousness of its prose) Chronic City
is his best yet.
It would be easy to assume that former child star Chase Insteadman is the main character here just because he narrates the story. On the contrary, I think the protagonist is Manhattan, the eponymous Chronic City. Indeed, for all the narrative's purposes, nothing exists outside the island's perimeter. Not a...
Beyond the Book
Touring New York City
Everyone knows New York! Even if you've never visited you've probably read about it in books such as Jonathan Letham's (which are all set in the City). If you haven't read about it, the chances are that one of the countless TV shows such as NYPD Blue
, and Sex and the City
has introduced you to a variety of its streets, apartment buildings, alleys and restaurants. Even if you missed these, you've probably seen it portrayed in some of the hundreds of movies filmed there, from classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany's
and Barefoot in the Park
to more recent films such as the Spiderman movies. At the very least, the chances are you've had your present and future financial status affected by Wall Street!