What's with the negative reviews? I loved this book, and I loved the performance. I felt at home in Lathem's imaginary world. Of course, I felt Chronic City, with its quirky adventures and bizzarro NYC, is more in sync with folks like Eileen Myles and Ted Berrigan and Patti Smith Perhaps than Jonathan Franzen's sad despairing FREEDOM riders. Oh well. For me I'm glad I didn't listen to the naysayers. I would have missed quite a ride. Or whatever it was.
I read Lethem's article "The Ecstasy of Influence" for Harper's, and was very excited by the exploration of thought surrounding contemporary artistic appropriation, updating Howard Bloom. That article lead me here to "Chronic City." I wasn't disappointed. In fact, this has become one of my favorite audiobooks. The grand ideas woven into a fun narrative peppered with myriad obscure cultural references makes this is the kind of book that I find hugely satisfying.
An American Midwesterner
This was a very refreshing bit of something completely new and different. I bit surreal, even. Motherless Brooklyn is one of my all time favorites. Lethem is brilliant with making topics in philosophy easy for the likes of you and me to ponder on by using quirky, brilliant, damaged or even ubernormal characters in his work. Really clever and fun.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
Excellent dialogue, great characters, and the interesting but obscure (probably to most?) pop-cultural references.
I didn't have one. I thought the characters were great overall but no particular stand-outs for me.
I don't have a favorite here. I thought the characterization was strong overall.
I'd probably go with none. These are more the types of characters I would rather enjoy reading about than hanging out with.
'Chronic City'' is somewhat of a mysterious parallel vision of Manhattan's Upper East Side. The story is full of humor and is populated with a cast of young, off-beat, and exceptionally named characters. There's little in the way of narrative but it's a highly entertaining listen as the story is loaded with obscure film and pop culture references, a good deal of dry humor, a touch of science fiction, and strong dialogue. This is literary fiction, so it's not going to be for everyone, but for those seeking this type of mix it should be a fun listen.
This is an excellent performance rich with texture and nuance. I consider Lethem up there in the genre of one Saul Bellow. Boomer Bellow. Nice find.
This book got good and bad reviews. Believe the bad ones.
I rarely give up on an audiobook once I've paid for it, but with this one I'd rather listen to nothing. Pure unrelieved inanity. Sorry to say this, because I loved The Fortress of Solitude.
Have you ever found yourself straight at a party where everyone else is stoned on pot? That's what reading Chronic City is like--figuratively . . . and literally since most of the characters ARE always stoned on pot? I left the party before it was over, disappointed because I so loved Lethem's accessible and genuinely insightful and funny _The Fortress of Solitude_. _Chronic City_ is an episodic novel about nothing, but not nearly as much fun or as clever or, despite its pretensions, as knowledgeable of New York as that masterpiece about nothing, _Seinfeld_.
What a meaningles pile of crap this book was! Unless you live in Manhattan and want endless pointless drivel, leave this book on the shelf. I want my money back! This is the first audiobook I ever "threw away"