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Jonathan Lethem website.
August 8, 2005 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Jonathan Lethem 's fans will be happy (unhappy, missing, or set to vibrate) to know that the author has stuffed the glove compartment of his website with a heap of unpublished writings, including musings on everything from rick james and rod serling, an obscure children's book written by Eric Berne , and a tour-de-force portrait of the artist Fred Tomaselli. The site itself, by Will Amato, seems to randomly load a different design each time you refresh the page. I like the noir tableau with the devo hat, the kiddie drawing that plays a soul song, then endless looping drive on a lonely highway, and the montage of Dr Strange, Superman, and the Rawhide Kid.
posted by stacyhall1 (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
How could you leave out Donald Sutherland's Buttocks?
posted by eatitlive at 11:36 AM on August 8, 2005


as far as i know, dave lachappelle has yet to bother with a rick james impersonation.
posted by dickumbrage at 12:06 PM on August 8, 2005


Thanks. I like Lethem quite a bit. I enjoyed Depressed Superheroes (and others).

In earlier days Deadman regarded himself as The Spectre's protégé. However, The Spectre never proposed Deadman for membership in the Justice League of America. Deadman doesn't know how to raise the subject with the Spectre, so he never calls him anymore.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2005


d'oh. link.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:10 PM on August 8, 2005


as far as i know, dave lachappelle ...

I wonder if that typo made it into the New York Times Magazine.

Once you get a good editor, you can get really lazy about shit like that. Unfortunate but true.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on August 8, 2005


Mmm. I was a little disappointed by Motherless Brooklyn
(great concept but the story didn't actually deliver on its
promise for me), but I thought that Fortress of Solitude
was one of the best novels I read that year.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:16 PM on August 8, 2005


Thanks stacyhall1.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2005


Thanks for the link. I loved Gun, With Occasional Music but hadn't thought to look for Lethem's website. This is good writing.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:27 PM on August 8, 2005


Thanks stacyhall1, this is good.
posted by Verdant at 12:33 PM on August 8, 2005


i loved Fortress of Solitude - alot - but i also felt the same way you did Peter: a great concept but the story didn't fully deliver on its promise. i guess that was the point, tho. *sigh*
posted by gnutron at 1:27 PM on August 8, 2005


Okay. I have issues with the "Depressed Superheroes" essay.

Deadman rarely bothers to dress as a civilian, since his secret identity is a corpse. His skin is red. It probably ought to be green, but The Spectre's skin in green.

Wrong. So wrong. Deadman has white skin and a red outfit. The Spectre has white skin and a green outfit.

Someone go take away Mr Lethem's Geek Cred Card.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:43 PM on August 8, 2005


Yeah, if you're looking for authenticity, he's not your guy, imo. (See Fortress of Solitude.) I liked Motherless Brooklyn, but seemed like it was written as a screenplay. As She Climbed Across the Table is my favorite.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:36 PM on August 8, 2005


Speaking of which, Motherless Brooklyn is being made into a movie, with Edward Norton as Lionel, which is promising (Steve Buscemi did a fine job on the audio book, too). I enjoyed the book more than I should have, as it was a bit lacking in terms of story, but I'm interested in seeing it on film.
posted by notmydesk at 2:50 PM on August 8, 2005


Yeah, I heard about the movie after I read it, which probably colors my judgment..

as it was a bit lacking in terms of story

I don't understand this one. If you break down the plot to its essentials (which I won't), the story is actually very dramatic and well formulated. Well, it kept me guessing a bit, which is rare. And there are a lot of things that happen. I don't know how much more story there could be.

Anyway, considering the experimental nature of some of his earlier stuff, I loved the straight conventional narrative (the novel takes place over 2-3 days, right?). I also love Zen, so that's likely part of it.

I really enjoy Lethem's endings, btw. Gun with Occasional Music was awesome.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:22 PM on August 8, 2005


stacyhall1-- thanks for the post. Can't wait to check this out. I dig him. I never think to look for author's websites.
posted by Kloryne at 7:30 PM on August 8, 2005


Crap. I meant, "authors'" websites. (No wonder I haven't published shit since February.)
posted by Kloryne at 7:36 PM on August 8, 2005


I like the guy - especially since his two favorite authors as a young man (as I recall) were also mine: Kafka and Dick.
posted by kozad at 6:31 AM on August 9, 2005


Unfortunately, Gun with Occasional Music's ending was totally telegraphed if you've read what was obviously Lethem's inspiration (finally, a good reason for the amazon book link with anonymous linktext -- you don't have to know what book acts as a spoiler for GwOM if you don't want to.)

Of potential amusement or annoyance to Lethem readers: Conversations in a Bookstore.

I say all this as a Lethem fan -- I've read most of his books, and especially like Motherless Brooklyn and some of the short fiction in Wall of the Sky, Wall of the Eye.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2005


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