Lucky Alan: Book summary and reviews of Lucky Alan by Jonathan Lethem

Lucky Alan

And Other Stories

by Jonathan Lethem

Lucky Alan by Jonathan Lethem X
Lucky Alan by Jonathan Lethem
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About this book

Book Summary

Jonathan Lethem's third collection of stories uncovers a father's nervous breakdown at SeaWorld in "Pending Vegan"; a foundling child rescued from the woods during a blizzard in "Traveler Home"; a political prisoner in a hole in a Brooklyn street in "Procedure in Plain Air"; and a crumbling, haunted "blog" on a seaside cliff in "The Dreaming Jaw, The Salivating Ear." Each of these locates itself in Lethem-land, which can be discovered only by visiting. As in his celebrated novels, Lethem finds the uncanny lurking in the mundane, the irrational self-defeat seeping through our upstanding pursuits, and the tragic undertow of the absurd world(s) in which we live.

Devoted fans of Lethem will recognize familiar themes: the anxiety of influence taken to reductio ad absurdum in "The King of Sentences"; a hapless, horny outsider summoning bravado in "The Porn Critic"; characters from forgotten comics stranded on a desert island in "Their Back Pages." As always in Lethem, humor and poignancy work in harmony, humans strive desperately for connection, words find themselves misaligned to deeds, and the sentences are glorious.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lethem's humor ranges from rueful to sly to 'big silly,' and his careful, mostly unshowy writing has a gift for charming a reader into almost anything." - Kirkus

"In Lethem's collection, following the novel Dissident Gardens, the stories use absurdity, satire, or incongruity to contrast the quotidian ... with all the intrigue, emotion, and blunt force of reality." - Publishers Weekly

" With a few exceptions, these tend to be more intellectually involving than emotionally affecting. But readers willing to endure a little discomfort on the journey will find themselves in some fascinating new territory." - Booklist

This information about Lucky Alan shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jonathan Lethem Author Biography

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. He currently teaches creative writing at Pomona College in California.

Author Interview
Link to Jonathan Lethem's Website

Other books by Jonathan Lethem at BookBrowse
  • The Fortress of Solitude jacket
  • The Feral Detective jacket

8 more...

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