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Men and Cartoons

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A boozy ex-military captain trapped in a mysterious vessel searches for his runaway son, an aging superhero settles into academia, and a professional "dystopianist" receives a visit from a suicidal sheep. Men and Cartoons contains eleven fantastical, amusing, and moving stories written in a dizzying array of styles that shows the remarkable range and power of Lethem's vision. Sometimes firmly grounded in reality, and other times spinning off into utterly original imaginary worlds, this book brings together marvelous characters with incisive social commentary and thought provoking allegories. 
     A visionary and creative collection that only Jonathan Lethem could have produced, the Vintage edition features two stories not published in the hardcover edition, "The Shape We're In" and "Interview with the Crab. 

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 25, 2004 – Like Lethem's bestselling novel The Fortress of Solitude, this collection blends the literary with the fantastical, probing themes of loneliness, failed relationships and the consequences of strange powers. These nine stories, starring comic book heroes and regular folks, are steeped in melancholic nostalgia, absurdist humor and a sly air of cultural critique. The strongest combine character studies with extraordinary elements: in "The Spray," police investigating a robbery in a couple's apartment leave behind an aerosol spray that reveals missing items as glowing images, which the couple subsequently use to find out more than they wanted to know about each other. In "Super Goat Man" and "The Vision," real and imaginary superheroes become the focus for the dashed hopes of characters who can't help feeling spiteful at their loss of innocence. Lethem delves into Borges and Kafka territory in some stories, notably "The Dystopianist, Thinking of His Rival, Is Interrupted by a Knock on the Door." In this surreal fable, a writer of bleak futures invents the perfect literary weapon to defeat his utopianist enemy, only to have it show up on his threshold. "Access Fantasy" is the most straightforwardly science fictional, set in a future when people live in their cars, immobilized by a citywide traffic jam. Stylistically varied, inventive, accessible, Lethem's stories offer a fine appetizer for fans hungry for his next big thing.
Men and Cartoons
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Nov 08, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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