The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye
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The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye

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by Jonathan Lethem
     
 

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A dead man is brought back to life so he can support his family in "The Happy Man"; occasionally he slips into a zombielike state while his soul is tortured in Hell. In "Vanilla Dunk," future basketball players are given the skills of old-time stars like Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. And in "Forever, Said the Duck," stored computer personalities scheme to

Overview


A dead man is brought back to life so he can support his family in "The Happy Man"; occasionally he slips into a zombielike state while his soul is tortured in Hell. In "Vanilla Dunk," future basketball players are given the skills of old-time stars like Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. And in "Forever, Said the Duck," stored computer personalities scheme to break free of their owners.

In these and other stories in this striking collection, Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, draws the reader ever more deeply into his strange, unforgettable world—a trip from which there may be no easy return.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR JONATHAN LETHEM

"One of the most fertile imaginations among America’s young writers."—SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"An author to be reckoned with."—NEWSWEEK

When this book was first published, Jonathan Lethem was still relatively unknown, although his first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, had already been named as a finalist for the 1994 Nebula Award. Since then, this New York City-based writer has become something of a cult figure, with an diverse following that reviewers have compared to that of Borges and Burroughs. Though it's an early work, this collection justifies such heady comparisons. Even diehard skeptics will be won over by stories like "The Happy Man," "Vanilla Dunk," and "Forever, Said the Duck."
Kirkus Reviews
Seven long stories—five reprints, two originals—from the author of Amnesia Moon (1995), etc. In "The Happy Man," a dead man is brought back to life so he can support his family. Occasionally he subsides into a zombielike state while his soul is tortured in Hell: There's a plot payoff, but savvy readers will see it coming miles away. Future basketball players are given the skills of old-time stars like Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain, in "Vanilla Dunk." A crack addict in "Light and the Sufferer" rips off his dealer, only to receive the baffling attentions of a curious and invulnerable alien. Stored computer personalities scheme to break free of their owners in "Forever, Said the Duck." In "The Hardened Criminals," convicts, crushed and plasticized, are used as building blocks for prisons. Of the two original entries, "Five Fucks" recounts how a woman who spends the night with a strange man finds that two weeks have passed in the outside world. This intriguing existential conundrum rapidly degenerates, however, into futile solipsism. And in "Sleepy People" the older generation gathers in bars to form militias, while amiable young hooligans lackadaisically terrorize the neighborhood, and some people mysteriously just sleep.

Striking and fascinating though these ideas may be, Lethem often undermines their significance with bizarre, irrational, or meaningless developments. Frown, shrug, pass on.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156032483
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/05/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

Charles de Lint
One thing about Lethem's writing: You're never sure what you're going to get. The seven stories collected here are proof of his ability to deliver the unexpected. They include everything from a future where the dead are brought back if they're needed to support their families, alien creatures that follow around the doomed, a look at near-future basketball that is a harsh indictment of where the sport could end up, and much more. Fascinating stuff.

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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Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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