Faber & Faber £6.99 (547pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Chronic City, By Jonathan Lethem
Friday 25 March 2011
Chase Insteadman, the narrator of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, is a former child actor who lives on residuals from a long ago sitcom. His life as an Upper East side dilettante, however, is set to change when he meets Perkus Tooth, a paranoid counter-cultural critic who takes to lecturing him on Marlon Brando, Chet Baker and unseen forces from a booth at a coffee shop.
Lethem's best-known books are set in Brooklyn, but here the borough of New York is Queens – albeit a fantastical version that's home to an escaped tiger and a perpetually fog-bound financial district. A clever novel that jangles with ideas about the perils of narcissism, both in art and life. Lethem simultaneously conspires to entertain and confuse.
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
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