Amnesia Moon

Amnesia Moon

by Jonathan Lethem

Paperback(First Edition)

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In Jonathan Lethem's wryly funny novel, we meet a young man named Chaos, who's living in a movie theater in post-apocalyptic Wyoming, drinking alcohol, and eating food out of cans.

It's an unusual and at times unbearable existence, but Chaos soon discovers that his post-nuclear reality may have no connection to the truth. So he takes to the road with a girl named Melinda in order to find answers. As the pair travels through the United States they find that, while each town has been affected differently by the mysterious source of the apocalypse, none of the people they meet can fill in their incomplete memories or answer their questions. Gradually, figures from Chaos's past, including some who appear only under the influence of intravenously administered drugs, make Chaos remember some of his forgotten life as a man named Moon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312862206
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 08/15/1996
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.18(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

JONATHAN LETHEM is the author of several novels, including Motherless Brooklyn; The Fortress of Solitude;Gun, with Occasional Music; and Dissident Gardens.


New York, New York

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


Left Bennington College after two years

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Amnesia Moon 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
eastpole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Many books are about the power of dreams. This one makes it feel real.
mathrocks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chaos, also known as Moon, lives in a post-apocalyptic America, or perhaps some other reality. Reality, however, is shaped by dreamers, and Chaos is a latent dreamer. He sets out on a quest to find a better way to live seeking not only truth but also, as it turns out, community and family.One way to read the book is as an analogy about postmodern society. In this view, reality is created by us, that is by social consensus. This certainly includes dysfunctional aspects. In the book, the dysfunctional aspects dominate, e.g. a broken down post-apocalyptic setting, a green fog, and a TV celebrity centric society. This is particularly frustrating, since better options exist, such as represented by the futuristic cars.A thought-provoking, entertaining read.
Punchout on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finished this read in three days. Narration was good, story has potential but I was left wondering WTF. From start to finish I didn't know what was reality and what was dreamality. There are actually three good story lines in the book, but all put together wasn't a good idea in my opinion. I liked it, I didn't like it, I don't know, was I dreaming when I read it?
doc_illusion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some interesting parts, but eventually I was bored with all the strangeness (and I'm not easily bored with strangeness). Did enjoy the bit about the Macdonalonians.
BobNolin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More like Ridley Walker than Catcher in the Rye (the book the blurbs compare it to), this was a fast, confusing read. The plot promises but does not deliver, so I felt somewhat let down. Questions are dangled like carrots in front of the reader, but they are not answered. A bit too derivative of PK Dick, but a fun read. BTW, it has sat on my shelf for ten years, since picking it up as a hc remainder from Daedalus back in the 90's. Finally read it! But not in a hurry to read more by this author (though Fortress of Solitude looks interesting).
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amnesia Moon is a wacky and sometimes incomprehensible tale of a post-apocalyptic America in which no one can agree exactly what caused the collapse of civilization. For some, it was nuclear war; for others, it was aliens; and for one town, it was a green mist that blinded the populace. The hero, alternately named Everett Moon or Chaos, wanders through these places, journeying from one surreal post-apocalyptic community to the next. There is only one constant: Some people have the power to control others¿ dreams or even their waking thoughts, and those people are in charge wherever Chaos goes. In fact, Chaos is a dreamer himself, and his traveling companion is a young mutant girl covered with fur whom he may actually have dreamed up. We never find out exactly what happened to this world, but the story is in the journey, so we don¿t really care. Lethem¿s unique brand of storytelling shines in this early novel of his.
prodthedog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was an unexpected surprise. I was in a book store in Princeton, NJ and this was randomly placed on the bargain shelf. I purchased, after reading the first chapter, and I couldn't put it down. It was so bizarre and "out" that I found myself locked in. This was my first Lethem, and he instantly became one of my favorites. Since first reading this, I have read most of his work, and also urge people to check out his website - which is just as strange has his novels. There is mystery in Lethem's thought process that interests me. From evolved animals in "Gun, With Occasional Music" to a strange amnesia inducing gas cloud in "Amnesia Moon" his literary concepts are nothing short of specific and intriguing. His main character in "Amnesia Moon" is aptly named Chaos, and has an ability to control the world subconsciously via his dreams... A very eastern thought oriented concept of everyone being connected through subconcious... I file this in: VERY COOL!After reading Lethem, one might find it interesting to read the Tao Te Ching, or the Book of Change, the I Ching. Both might help shed light on what Lethem is truly trying to get at in this book. I hope I have it right, too, because I might be wrong.... but after all, that is the beauty of art anyway... right?
amandrake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Honestly, one of my least favorite books from this author. It just doesn't seem very cohesive.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kind of a Wizard of Oz meets a road trip while doing crack.
teewillis1981 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eh. I have read better authors and his name is Phillip K. Dick. His writing style is too chaotic and not chaotic in the poetic way. He is trying too hard to be different. I wouldn't recommend this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Jonathan lethem once again defys the laws of genre by writing the most original masterpiece I have ever read. Confusion ensues when chaos realizes that his life is not exactly what it seems. Truth drowned out by falsetellings and theorys which make you think(sometihng you don't find in to many books these days). I had to read it twice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lethem's Amnesia Moon is a brilliant masterpiece which blinds its reader with textual supremacy rivaling that sought by a ten megaton nuclear blast. Like his earlier novel, Gun With Occasional Music, Lethem's Amnesia Moon focuses around a single 'tech noir' hero who sets off on a journey of expectacious wonderment which begins with the fact that Chaos realizes his own reality is simply a fragment which is part of a marvelous post-turn of the Mayan calendar world. Beginning in Hatfork, Wyoming, a town filled with post-apocalyptic mutants the novel takes a sharp turn towards an even more disasterous possible future when the characters realize that they border a green mist. Not simply a Deadlands:Hell on Earth type world, Lethem's myriad of post-apocalyptic realities take on a sort of rainbow like hue, especially when considered against his earlier work, Gun, with Occasional Music. Now Gun, as I like to refer to it, was a melodic masterpiece which, like the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit, deals with surrealistic animal intrusions from other realities beyond our perception and ken. BTW, has anybody noticed how much each of these plots seem to resemble most M:TA campaigns, especially since the journey of Chaos through a transformed neo-apocalyptic New West could easily be seen as the story of the awakening of a neophyte mage and Gun could be seen as about an individual who lives in a world in which out -of-control technologies spawned by the evil Pentex have pushed him to the brink of insanity and to a point where he and his musical gun are increasingly marginalized by the bio-technologically altered critters which surround him in his little world of Forgettol-induced amnesia and hallucinatory states. In fact, its easy sometimes to forget which Jonathan Lethem novel you're reading and drift back in time back into Gun while reading through one's first-print paperback copy of Amnesia Moon. In 1992, when Lethem first brought Gun out it was little noticed, except where I live, where for some reason it recieved widespread critical acclaim, especially from local booksellers in the area. In Amnesia Moon though, Lethem puts a techno spin, as it were, on what could otherwise be seen as a sort of retread concept. All in all, I would consider Amnesia Moon to be an excellent book and one well worth reading, particularly as it occupies an important place in the hallmarks of San Francisco underground literature and is well worth reading in both its hardback and paperback printings. BTW, I not only enjoyed Amnesia Moon, but I also enjoyed hanging out with Lethem on his chat group Head Space on Hotwired and this message is also intended all of you out there know that, centauri is back!