Men and Cartoons (Vintage Contemporaries) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $2.63 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Men and Cartoons: Stories has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Men and Cartoons: Stories Paperback – November 8, 2005

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.53 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Men and Cartoons: Stories + The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Price for both: $21.33

Buy the selected items together


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400076803
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400076802
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A strikingly original collection . . . imaginative, insightful, witty and sad." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


"An already dazzling writer shows us a new card. . . . Men and Cartoons ends on a note that portends Lethem's most experimental turn yet: toward human love as [a transporting] alternate universe. . . . Lethem in a new, more nakedly personal key." --San Francisco Chronicle


"Lethem is the man to beat in fiction these days. . . . Every tale of ennui, cosmic regret and petty yearning is perfectly realized. The brevity of the book and perfection of the stories puts every other member of his generation to shame." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


"Ineffably poignant." --Time


"His sheer inventiveness is a treat. . . . Affecting and clever, these tales are standouts." --People


"Terrific. . . . Lethem captures the world we know and the one hovering just beyond our periphery." --The Baltimore Sun


"A pleasure. . . . These stories offer potent little distillations of Lethem's considerable imagination." --Entertainment Weekly


"Compelling. . . . Effective. . . . Intelligent and poignant. . . . Strange, amusing, haunting. . . . Lethem has what musicians call 'chops,' or technical mastery. He can mix and match prose styles and literary genres to create glittering fictional artifacts. . . . Each of these nine tales rewards the reader in some way--through an insight, a scene or simply the force of the author's imagination." --St. Petersburg Times


"Bristling with familiarity. . . . Theme[s] that resonate. . . . [Lethem is] adept at letting palpable human experiences emerge from absurd, fantastical situations." --The San Diego Union-Tribune


"Nuanced. . . . Resonates with intense force." --Newsday


"Laugh-out-loud funny tales of love, flamboyance, and childhood memories." --Elle


"Smart. . . . Original. . . . Memorable. . . . Lethem is . . . [like] the Coen Brothers of fiction." --The Seattle Times


"Men and Cartoons will open up a vast new world to readers unfamiliar with Lethem's oeuvre. . . . The entries are uniformly fine--each in its own way representative of Lethem's mastery of whatever style he attempts." --Rocky Mountain News


"Fantastic." --Vanity Fair


"Engaging. . . . A Lethem primer. . . . The characters of Men and Cartoons need their stories to be told." --The Village Voice


"Jonathan Lethem spits out genres like curse words--from sci-fi to pseudo-erotica to the

epistolary. His narrative psychosis is our disturbed enjoyment." --Genre Magazine


"Wonderful. . . . A collection of tales based in Brooklyn but permeated with fantasy [from] the very talented Mr. Lethem." --The Hartford Courant


"Lethem at his best. . . . [An] appealing array of stories [that] exemplify Lethem's talents as a profoundly imaginative writer." --Chattanooga Times Free Press

About the Author

Jonathan Lethem is the author of six novels, including The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Award. He is the author of two short story collections and the editor of The Vintage Book of Amnesia. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Granta and Harper’s. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and in Maine.

More About the Author

Jonathan Lethem was born in New York and attended Bennington College.

He is the author of seven novels including Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger.

He has also written two short story collections, a novella and a collection of essays, edited The Vintage Book of Amnesia, guest-edited The Year's Best Music Writing 2002, and was the founding fiction editor of Fence magazine.

His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's and many other periodicals.

He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard K. Weems on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is my first read of Jonathan Lethem. I heard his story "The Spray" on the NPR show Selected Shorts, and I was rather impressed, so I tracked down this collection. I am not familiar with any of his novels.

What impressed me about "The Spray" when I heard it, and also when I read it, was its easy style--a couple find that their apartment has been robbed, but when the police come, the couple find that they are not sure about what has been taken, so the police spray the apartment with a substance that makes what's missing appear in a salmon-colored glow. When they leave, though, the police leave the spray cannister behind, and the couple are curious to see what happens when they spray each other. The story moves forward very easily and naturally, obeying its own logic, but by the end it becomes clear that everything has been turning on an idea about loss and the inability to truly let go of things. But Lethem doesn't strong-arm the metaphor on the story. Everything seems to move along quite naturally, while by the end the overriding purpose becomes clear, and this purpose remains even when looking back through the story.

The best works in this collection move with that same sense of authority and ease. "The Vision" is a tale about a man re-encountering someone he knew in his childhood who once thought we was a superhero, but now the narrator has to deal with the oddball as a neighbor, and even worse, as the guest of this man who is hosting a party to play a game called Mafia. Keeping with the comic book motif, "Super Goat Man" is about a man's encounters with a failed comic book hero from childhood through their like-minded academic careers.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Flubjub on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
MEN AND CARTOONS, an uneven but daring collection of eleven short stories by Jonathan Lethem, takes delight in juxtaposing mundane realities with absurd, surreal, or even supernatural particulars. "Super Goat Man," for instance, is concerned with a Jung-reading, jazz-loving resident at a Brooklyn commune who later goes on to teach at a liberal New Hampshire college -- and, oh, by the way, this professor just happens to be the eponymous character, a literal goat-slash-man -- previously a ho-hum comic book superhero whose unremarkable adventures never quite caught on with the masses. Lethem inserts his incredible characters and events into a quasi-real world where everything is taken at face value. It almost calls to mind magical-realism, but in the case of Lethem the extraordinary is more prosaic than poetic -- less magical than merely situational. Super Goat Man is, after all, like every man in many ways, except for his goatness.

Meanwhile, in "The Shape We're In," the longest story in the collection, a retired military "man" (who happens to be a relentless wisecracker and an alcoholic) asks the Big Questions in his own little world, which just happens to be the inside of a human body. Yes, Mr F is actually some kind of corpuscular element (blood cell perhaps?) racing from the cavernous temple-like lung to the upper nose in a quest to find his son Dennis, who has been spotted panhandling in the environs of one of the eyes. In "The Spray" a house burglary introduces a couple to the spray of the title, a mysterious aerosol chemical which, when applied to an area, reveals the image of what is lost or missing. And in "Access Fantasy" -- probably the most extreme, Phillip K.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CoyoteReader on September 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fun, intriguing and yes, a bit bizarre, the book lives up to its name. Cartoonish characters inhabit cartoonish situations, providing much chuckling and some head-scratching. If you've read other Lethem works (The Fortress of Solitude; Motherless Brooklyn), you know that this one treats you to a view of the author honing his skills, his wit and his pen-shaped weapon.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those who read and appreciated Lethem's "The Fortress of Solitude" will recognize a few characters and story lines here which is a pleasure both for the casual reader as well as those with a more scholarly intent; those who want a more in depth experience of a given author's vision and the local universe they create.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?