Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem

Honestly, I have no idea what this book is about. I love Lethem — some of his books are my very favorites. But it was a real struggle to get through this novel, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t worth it at all. Lethem’s last few books haven’t been great; hopefully he’ll find his groove again soon.


  1. Oh I totally disagree! I loved this novel.

    I believe it’s about perception and shared memory.

    Have you read his essay “The Ecstasy of Influence?”

    I think it informed some of his thinking for this work.


  2. I haven’t gotten around to Chronic City yet but have been disappointed with Lethem since (and including) Fortress of Solitude.

    I absolutely love early Lethem (Amnesia Moon, Gun with Occasional Music, Girl in Landscape) and his short story collections.

    Motherless Brooklyn was also good and put him on the ‘mainstream’ scene. But since then he just hasn’t delivered.

    This is one more reason to hold off on Chronic City and instead … read David Mitchell or Jonathan Carroll.