The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye, by Jonathan Lethem

1996. Seven stories. I feel Philip K Dick muttering in the background.

Lethem is a new author for me. I read this collection of stories immediately after reading The Ecstasy of Influence because I was so impressed with his essays.

As in any collection, I enjoyed some stories more than others. Lethem has a clear voice, and dystopian world view, and I gather is aiming to reflect on our present by dipping into a not-too-distant future. Like Dick.

In “Happy Man” a father commutes to Hell and back to support his family. I guess the message being we all suffer personal Hells while alive since as far as I know nobody has yet come back to report on Hell. Clever story, well-told.

“Vanilla Dunk,” “Hardened Criminals,” and “Sleepy People” for my money are the best stories in the collection. No spoilers here. If you like mild sci-fi, (or are we supposed to call it postmodern? post-modern? post modern?) if you like your sci-fi over-easy with a rasher of dystopia, you’ll enjoy a serving of these¬†stories.

Fun and a good intro to a very good young novelist when he was honing his craft

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About M L RUDOLPH

M L Rudolph has worked for CNN among other American and British television and film companies. He has written for general interest and trade magazines and published his first novel, Facing the Son, A novel of Africa, on Amazon in 2011. More are on the way. Rudolph is a dual US/UK national and lives in Pasadena, CA. View all posts by M L RUDOLPH

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