Customer Reviews for

Chronic City

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bizarro New York

    Jonathan Lethem really has a talent for capturing the quintessence of what it is to be a New Yorker. His characters in Chronic City encapsulate the history of the city and the types of people that inhabit it. Worn out downtown hippies, child actors, the intelligentsia, and the elite unveil the joy and pain of living life on a frigid grid of streets and avenues.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

    I had read the Times review of the Top 10 books from 2009 and that drew me to this book. I'd never read a book quite like it - complex and full of thoughtful discussions and contemplations. It really captured New York and New Yorkers (for good and for bad!). The book has surreal elements (a subway drill that eats street buildings) and a three-way love story between a female astronaut (trapped in space station), a former child star (male), and a ghost writer (female). There are lots of other primary elements in the book, but you'll have to read it to find out. Highly recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Chronic Pointlessness

    The only reasons I'm giving Lethem's novel three stars rather than two are that (1) it's very well written; and (2) parts of it are quite humorous. That said, I got so sick of the book that I stopped reading it two-thirds of the way through. It was simply too difficult for me to connect or sympathize with the characters, and I was sick of the novel's pervasive sense of meaninglessness. A few pages into the novel, I was overcome by a "Philip Roth feeling," and I mention this because I suppose _Chronic City_ may be a very good book choice for folks who love Roth. As for myself, I stopped reading Philip Roth after _Sabbath's Theater_ for much the same reason I will likely not read Lethem again: the characters were just as immature at the end of the novel as they were at the beginning, and I came away with an overwhelming sense of futility. No, thank you.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2009

    Chronic Disappointment

    If you are seeking an entertaining read, this book is not for you.
    I finished it because I cannot bring myself not to finish a book, but it was bizarre from beginning to end.
    I do not know what the author's purpose was to engage readers in entering this fictional realm but it does not appear Mr. Lethem wanted to entertain us and hold us spellbound in this realm.
    It was a book I could put down anytime and not be anxious to return to read what would happen next.
    The character's names were foolish and did nothing to endear me to their plight.
    A very great waste of money. I would not be tempted to read anything else by this author.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    this is lethem's best yet...

    this is lethem's best yet...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    uugh!

    stopped in the middle. couldn't go any further.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    chronic slog

    Fortress of Solitude is one of my favorite novels of the 21st century. So when I pushed through the first 50 or so pages of Chronic City trying unsuccessfully to care about any of the characters, I held out hope that some sort of connection awaited me further into this disappointing book.

    My patience was rewarded for a brief period.Without giving away too much, I became immersed and enthralled as these characters chased after something special on EBay and wondered if a certain acting legend was dead or alive. But then, it was as if something, perhaps a thick fog right out this story(there are way too many Airborne Toxic Events in this book) came over me and caused me to start resenting the hell out of Lethem for taking me this far. I am now at page 250 and do not see myself finishing this book. If Lethem's goal was for me to hate and wish violent endings on all of the characters and the city, he has succeeded. If someone can convince me that this book gets better, I will hang in there.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My first foray into Lethem

    I have always been intrigued by this author. Lethem offers a wide range of subjects and styles in his novels and the descriptions of his books that have been related to me by friends always seem thoughful and sufficiently off kilter. I decided to try this one first because it was available as an e-book. I was totally enthralled with this book. The plot premise is unlike anything that I could have thought up and the characters are incredibly intriguing. The whole book is laced with conspiracies, plots, and so many metaphors and symbols that it becomes hard to keep all the connections straight. But I think that is somehow the point. Perkus gets lost in a world of random cultural connections, and Lethem buries the reader in the same kind of details, connections, and theories that overtake his characters. What is real? What is fake? What is genuine? What is contrived? It is difficult to decide, but fun to contemplate. I finished reading several days ago and I am still thinking about the book. I think what I ultimately took away from this novel was the idea that it can be difficult to tell if we are being genuine in our choices and lifestyles or if we are being directed by those who create a "simulated" world around us. However difficult this may be, we can create our own small world within the simulation by fostering close relationships and being true to those who need us. This is probably a gross oversimplification, but I am running out of space so I will let it go at that. I just want to close by saying that this is a great unique read for people who enjoy a book that is more about the characters and how they react and develop than it is about what happens in the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted October 28, 2012

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    Posted December 23, 2009

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    Posted April 21, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted May 14, 2010

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted December 30, 2009

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    Posted May 22, 2011

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    Posted October 27, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
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