Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This Shape We're In Hardcover – February 1, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Lethem's primary strength seems to be to focus on a genre and get inside it and then twist it around and turn it into some strange new transmutation...where genre conventions get thrown out the window and replaced with these odd new parts that are vaguely out of place, but still run perfectly in sync.
For what it's worth, Lethem has yet to write a book that can be considered "bad" or even "mediocre". If you're a fan of Lethem, or just considering dipping your toe in, this book is essential stuff. If anything, it's a nice snack to tide you over until Lethem's newest book comes out.
For 9 bucks, you aren't going to get a much better package. Well put-together, beautiful cover by Chester Brown (of Ed the Happy Clown and The Playboy fame) and you're supporting McSweeney's Books, who seem hell-bent in delivering the literary goods without resorting to big-imprint prices. Go get it, for the good of the written word.
This little nugget is, for the most part, a success, but it also comes across as only partially-formed. And although it is, as usual, beautifully and skillfully told, it seems to be less a fully realized tale and more a creative exercise. Lethem, here, is just stretching is literary limbs. Consider listening to a highly touted operatic singer practicing her scales: it's still beautiful singing, and it may even be fun to listen to, but it isn't a song, and there's just not that much to it.
It would be difficult to say much about the plot because almost any detail would spoil the reading of this book and the answer to the question that runs through this book: what is the Shape that the characters live in - a multi-generational spaceship? A fallout shelter? - and what will the Eye see - Interstellar space? A nuclear wasteland? That is the most I can give away without ruining the fun of reading this little novella.
And, again, this book would do Philip K. Dick proud! I don't know if Lethem intended this or if his books are very Dickian as a whole.
Hats off once again to McSweeney's Books for bringing this book to us.
A Guide to my Book Rating System:
1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The novella is about a former General with a drinking problem sent by his shrewish wife to rescue their son from chanting as a cultist for something called the Third Eye. Read morePublished on May 18, 2010 by Sam Quixote
This is the most unusual book I've read by Lethem, which in my opinion makes it his best. I really enjoy Lethem's books. Read morePublished on June 6, 2003 by may hurtyou
When I was a kid I used to often visit my ancestral village and this place till today relies on home made remedies and the results are fast and quick. Read morePublished on October 15, 2001
A short story between two hardcovers (large type, lots of whitespace), "Fantastic Voyage" as done by Firesign Theatre. Read morePublished on August 7, 2001 by Robert Carlberg
Jonathan Lethem is a smart man. He is an interesting man. He thinks there is something wrong with his liver. Read morePublished on May 31, 2001 by K. Tontobreine