Lightning Peopleby Christopher Bollen
Joseph Guiteau is a working actor who moved to New York to escape a tragic family history in the Midwest. Wandering through a city transformed by the attacks of September 2001, he frequents gatherings of conspiracy groups, trying to make sense of world events and his own personal history. Looming over his life is a secret that threatens to undermine his new
Joseph Guiteau is a working actor who moved to New York to escape a tragic family history in the Midwest. Wandering through a city transformed by the attacks of September 2001, he frequents gatherings of conspiracy groups, trying to make sense of world events and his own personal history. Looming over his life is a secret that threatens to undermine his new marriage to Del, a snake expert at a city park, whose work visa is the only thread keeping her from deportation back to her native Greece.
The new marriage influences the lives of those around them: William, a dark and troubled actor whose sanity is fading as quickly as his career, leading him to perform increasingly desperate acts; Madi, a young entrepreneur who will have to face the moral complications of a business made successful by the outsourcing of American jobs to India; and her brother Raj, Del’s former lover, a promising photographer whose work details the empty rooms of an increasingly alienated city.
Christopher Bollen’s first novel captures the atmosphere of anxiety and loss that exists in Manhattan.
- Soft Skull Press, Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.68(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.06(d)
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I was intrigued when I read the synopsis of this book and decided to pre order a copy. I had high expectations and not only did this book meet those expectations, it exceeded them! Lightning People is by far the best book I've read all year. Lightning People could be called a New York novel but that would be doing it a disservice as it's so much bigger than that. It's an epic, plot driven, character piece that grips you from beginning to end. The central characters - Del, Madi, Joseph, Raj and William - will haunt you for weeks after you finish reading. I still can't help but think of them each day. In fact, I miss them! The plot continuosly twists and turns. It's one of those books that are impossible to put down. It's about paranoia, love, loss, friendship, rattlesnakes, multiculturalism, marriage, green cards, murder.....and that's just part one! I was surprised to see that this was Christopher Bollen's first novel. He really knows how to craft complex characters and place. I live in Tampa and for one week I was completely transported and engulfed by the gritty and seductive streets of New York City. Not only is Bollen a sophisticated writer, he is obviously a great observer of people and life. I really think he has communicated something important about the human condition with this book. I'm excited to see what he does next. It's rare to find a book that is so entertaining and edifying. A MUST READ!
I kept waiting for this book to get better. Maybe I'm out of touch or maybe I just wasn't getting what the author was trying to convey but if you read this book, be prepared to get depressed. To say that almost all of the characters in this book are "undirected" is a gift to Bollen. They lie, cheat and steal and even murder with no real consequences other than the frustration of the fruitlessness of their miserable lives. There are no heroes and everyone is incredibly flawed. A bad story well written.
Hard to put down. Great characters, with great depth, that you really care about. Bollen's a great writer, hard to believe this is his first novel. I can't wait to see what he does next.