Amnesia Moon

Amnesia Moon

4.0 5
by Jonathan Lethem
     
 

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In Jonathan Lethem's wryly funny second novel, we meet a young man named Chaos, who's living in a movie theater in post-apocalyptic Wyoming, drinking alcohol, and eating food out of cans.

It's an unusual and at times unbearable existence, but Chaos soon discovers that his post-nuclear reality may have no connection to the truth. So he takes to the road with a

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Overview


In Jonathan Lethem's wryly funny second novel, we meet a young man named Chaos, who's living in a movie theater in post-apocalyptic Wyoming, drinking alcohol, and eating food out of cans.

It's an unusual and at times unbearable existence, but Chaos soon discovers that his post-nuclear reality may have no connection to the truth. So he takes to the road with a girl named Melinda in order to find answers. As the pair travels through the United States they find that, while each town has been affected differently by the mysterious source of the apocalypse, none of the people they meet can fill in their incomplete memories or answer their questions. Gradually, figures from Chaos's past, including some who appear only under the influence of intravenously administered drugs, make Chaos remember some of his forgotten life as a man named Moon.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR AMNESIA MOON
"A hip, updated conflation of Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog and Jim Thompson's The Alcoholics. Jonathan Lethem escorts us down an impossibly post-terminal Route 66, kicking and screaming and loving every minute of it." - BARRY GIFFORD, author of WILD AT HEART

"An author to be reckoned with . . . A social critic, a sardonic satirist like the Walker Percy of Love in the Ruins. But with Amnesia Moon, Lethem slips out of the shadow of his predecessors to deliver a droll, downbeat vision that is both original and persuasive." -NEWSWEEK

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lethem's post-apocalyptic vision reflects American culture as if in a funhouse mirror in this strong follow-up to Gun, with Occasional Music. Televangelists have become actual robots, dog food is the cuisine of choice and the soap operas star government figures-all making for a confusing world for Everett, aka Chaos, who lives in a movie-projection room in Wyoming, drinking a liquor ``that amounted to rubbing alcohol.'' Fleeing his projection booth with Melinda, who's ``covered with fine, silky hair from head to foot,'' Chaos discovers that he is a ``dreamer,'' one whose dreams can remake reality. As Chaos and Melinda travel through the U.S., they find that, while each town has been affected differently by the mysterious source of the apocalypse, none can fill in their incomplete memories or answer their questions. Alighting in Vacaville, where everything is determined by ``luck tests,'' Chaos and Melinda settle into family life with a woman and her two children. But figures from his past, including some who appear only under the influence of intravenously administered drugs, draw Chaos into discovering that past-and into making more active use of his dream powers. The author draws each stop on Chaos's journey with care, including a supremely decadent San Francisco and a Los Angeles overrun with aliens, bringing to life all the horror and confusion inherent in his future world. At its heart, this novel remains a simple story-the search for identity, the search for family-but Lethem uses it successfully as a springboard for both a commentary on American culture and a convincing portrait of his main character. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
A young man named Chaos sets out on a journey across a shattered America to search for the truth that lies behind his fragmented dreams. From Hatfork, Wyoming, a desert town populated by genetic mutants, to the Strip, where perpetual fast food establishments exist in a cultural vacuum, Chaos begins to piece together a history of the breakdown of reality. The author of Gun, with Occasional Music (LJ 2/15/94) embues his second novel with a breathtaking vision of a world in flux. Lethem's prose is as flexible and memorable as the evocative story he tells. Most libraries will want this foray into speculative fiction for their sf collections.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156031547
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/08/2005
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
303,084
Product dimensions:
7.72(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.65(d)

Meet the Author

JONATHAN LETHEM is the author of nine novels, including Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Gun, with Occasional Music. Dissident Gardens is his most recent novel.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
Left Bennington College after two years

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