The Pickup Artist [NOOK Book]

Overview

"A laugh-out-loud fantastic tale. Mordantly funny, fast-moving and sharp."
—Bookpage

"Science Fiction needs humor, and it is plentiful in this zany, seriocomic variation on Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451."
—Publishers Weekly

"Masterfully ironic!"
—Philadelphia Enquirer


There are too many books! Too much music, too much art. The job of the Bureau of Arts and Entertainment is ...
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The Pickup Artist

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Overview

"A laugh-out-loud fantastic tale. Mordantly funny, fast-moving and sharp."
—Bookpage

"Science Fiction needs humor, and it is plentiful in this zany, seriocomic variation on Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451."
—Publishers Weekly

"Masterfully ironic!"
—Philadelphia Enquirer


There are too many books! Too much music, too much art. The job of the Bureau of Arts and Entertainment is to collect and destroy the old, so as to make room for the new.

Hank Shapiro is a dedicated BAE agent. Dependable. Uncorruptible. Pitiless.

Until he meets the girl in the bluebird sweater and bends the rules just once. And finds himself on a wild chase through the fleemarkets [sic] of America, from the towering landfills of New York City to the drive-thru crematoriums of Las Vegas.

There is also a talking dog.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016646343
  • Publisher: JumperCable Books
  • Publication date: 5/23/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,163,272
  • File size: 501 KB

Meet the Author

Best known for his short stories "macs," "They're Made out of Meat" and "Bears Discover Fire," Terry Bisson has won every major award in SF, including the Hugo, the Nebula, the Sturgeon and Locus awards, and France's Gran Prix de l'Imaginaire. He lives in California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fahrenheit 451 occurred in Eerie, Indiana

    The Federal Bureau of Arts and Information provides a critical service for the people. They pick up, pay, and destroy art that has had its ¿place in the sun¿. The importance is to make room for new art because space is at a premium. Salinger and Miller are ancient history, and Shakespeare must have been off planet as the Alexandrians proud of that ancient fire rule the arts. <P>BAI PICKUP ARTIST Hank Shapiro thinks nothing of seizing a Sinatra or a Monet for ultimate destruction. Hank is polite and professional as he goes about his job as the repo collector. However, Hank makes a colossal error when he collects a recording by his namesake, Hank Williams and cannot resist listening. When he loses the record, Hank is obsessed to regain it. He begins an odd odyssey across the country accompanied by his often-dead dog. They continually run into the Bob clones that seem everywhere and other assortment of weirdoes. <P>THE PICKUP ARTIST is weird, amusing, and entertaining as if Fahrenheit 451 occurred in Eerie, Indiana. The story line is cleverly written engaging the audience with Hank¿s story and the history of the fire movement. Anyone who relishes a wonderful satirical science fiction at its most humorous yet quite insightful best will want to pick up award winning artist Terry Bisson¿s ironic look into the future. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Great and fun read

    One for the ages. A new Alchemist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Great book

    The comparisons to "Fahrenheit 451" prepared me for what to expect. The more I read the more I was reminded of "Through a Scanner Darkly." I really enjoyed this book - the concept, the conflict, the voice of Hank. I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    From the first chapter, I was hooked....

    The Pickup Artist, by Terry Bisson, begins by following Hank Shapiro, a pickup artist, throughout his normal day. In Hank¿s time, the art of the 20th century is being categorized and systematically deleted, and he travels around New York City retrieving art that has had its ¿moment in the sun.¿ However, Hank¿s seemingly perfect life seems to take a turn for the worse when he breaks the rules of his own bureau and decides to listen to a Hank Williams¿, his namesake, record he has picked up for deletion. On his quest for a record player, Shapiro makes his way to a misdemeanor club, an underground club where people can go to listen to deleted music and watch deleted television. (¿Which one is Gilligan? Gilligan is the girl.¿) A raid at the misdemeanor club sets in motion Hank¿s trek across futuristic America in an attempt to find his lost record. His traveling companions include a librarian, Henry, his dog, Homer, who is dying through most of the novel, and the corpse of a cloned Indian named Bob, whose siblings appear periodically throughout Hank¿s journey. The wayward travelers eventually end up at the heart of the Alexandrian movement. Interspaced between each chapter are chapters that tell the history of the Alexandrian (deletionist) movement, which began with terrorist attacks on art museums and leads to a high profile celebrity trial and eventually a world conference, which is headed by Mr. Bill after the collapse of his digital empire. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction. I found it to be a quite interesting read. Sure to be compared to Ray Bradbury¿s Fahrenheit 451, The Pickup Artist echoes that theme in an entirely different vein. However, I felt that the novel did not always live up to the potential it has at its disposal. Though the characters are all well developed and interesting, they never seem as though they can be actual real people, more like fuzzy images of people. In addition, the novel, though toying with it, never seems to tackle the idea of deletion head-on. All this said, I still found the novel extremely interesting. The novel takes you on a journey, though I¿m not sure you¿ll find your journey completely finished when you¿re done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2002

    Hilarious and Thought-Provoking

    This was a delightful discovery!! Set in the indeterminable future, civilization struggles to find a balance between old and new art. Throw in zany characters, outrageous plot developments, and great writing and you have a wonderful reading experience ahead of you. Highly recommended.

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