Chronic City

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Chase Insteadman is a handsome, inoffensive former child-star, living a vague routine of dinner parties and glamorous engagements on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Meanwhile, his astronaut fiancee, trapped on the International Space Station, sends him rapturous love letters. Like Janice, Chase is adrift. Into Chase's life enters Perkus Tooth, a wall-eyed free-range pop-critic, whose soaring conspiratorial riffs are fueled by high-grade marijuana, mammoth cheeseburgers and a desperate ache for meaning. Together, Chase and Perkus attempt to unearth the Truth - that rarest of artifacts on an island where everything can be bought. At once beautiful and tawdry, poignant and funny, Lethem's new novel is as always, utterly unique.