Jonathan Lethem

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Jonathan Lethem (2008)

Jonathan Lethem (born February 19, 1964) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.


Short fiction[edit]

The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye (1996)[edit]

Page numbers from the trade paperback edition, published by Tor; ISBN 0-312-86353-5, first U.S. printing (August 1997)
See Jonathan Lethem's Internet Science Fiction Database page for original publication details
  • “Where did you come from?” asked Omidon.
    “I was exiled to the margin,” said Wendy sourly.
    “For what reason?”
    “Why is anyone ever exiled to the margin? For threatening the center.”
    • Forever, said the Duck (p. 185)
  • Feeling unique is what we all have in common, it’s the thing that’s always the same.
    • Five Fucks (pp. 192-193)
  • Human lives exist to be experienced, or possibly endured, but not solved. They resemble any other novel more than they do mysteries. Westerns, even. It’s that lie the mystery tells that I detest.
    • Five Fucks (p. 206)
  • “Scout, that’s a good one,” said the sergeant. “Danny-boy couldn’t scout the inside of his eyelids.”
    • Sleepy People (p. 280)

Gun, with Occasional Music (1994)[edit]

All page numbers are from the trade paperback edition published by Harvest/Harcourt ISBN 978-0-15-602897-4 (2003), 7th printing
Nominated for the 1995 Nebula Award for Best Novel
  • “Don’t try to figure me out,” I said. “It doesn’t work—I’ve tried it myself.”
    • Part 1, Chapter 3 (p. 15)
  • The way to make a bundle in architecture right now was to devise new ways for people to pretend to gather while actually keeping their distance.
    • Chapter 7 (p. 42)
  • You remind me of myself, once upon a time. We’re not really that different even now. We chafe at our bits—but you’re stubborn, inflexible. Stupid, finally. I’ve learned to compromise. In negotiation lies power, viability. Your inflexibility has rendered you marginal.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 118)
  • You consider yourself an outsider, a seeker of truth amidst lies, yet you’ve bought into the biggest lie that can be told. You snort it through your nose and let it run in your bloodstream.
    • Chapter 16 (p. 120)
  • Architectural offices are always a good argument against architects, and Copperminer and Bayzwaite was no exception. The outer room served just about any purpose imaginable except those of walking in, talking to the receptionist, and sitting down to wait. I enacted these procedures anyhow, only I skipped sitting after taking a look at what passed for chairs. The room had been shaped from molten glass, pierced through with beams of burnished aluminum, and although several of these met in a confluence meant to suggest a seat, it didn’t look like something I’d be able to get back out of, so I let it pass.
    • Chapter 19 (p. 143)
  • He was a wretched excuse for a human being, but for an inquisitor he wasn’t half bad.
    • Chapter 26 (p. 201)
  • I’d joined the ever-growing category of things that look better when you leave the light off.
    • Chapter 27 (p. 210)
  • It was that rarity, an easy decision.
    • Part 2, Chapter 8 (p. 271)

Amnesia Moon (1995)[edit]

There are sections in the book, but they are not numbered. All page numbers are from the first trade paperback edition, published by Tor ISBN 0-312-86220-2 (September 1996), 1st printing
  • He allowed himself to feel that his stubbornness was courage. Maybe it was.
    • p. 17
  • He’s just a classic scapegoat, told people things they didn’t want to hear. There’s never any percentage in being ahead of your time.
    • p. 113
  • Everett realized what was wrong with the scene. L.A. was built for cars, and without them it was bereft, a body drained of blood.
    Or a hive itself, only emptied. A husk.
    • p. 182
  • What better way to keep people under your thumb? Make up some big enemy, justify everything as part of the war effort.
    • p. 184
  • Give it up, Chaos. Sane and real only go so far these days.
    • p. 200
  • “That’s the way it has to be for you. You’ll always be living in an FSR.”
    “Finite Subjective Reality. That’s what I call it. I ought to copyright that, in fact. You go creating a little area of control around you, until you bump into the next guy with his. A little sphere of reality and unreality, sanity and insanity, whatever you pull together. There’s no hope of sorting it out. That’s the way you live. FSR.”
    • p. 200

External links[edit]

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