Men and Cartoons It's always a pleasure to have a new book by the author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude , and Men and Cartoons… Men and Cartoons It's always a pleasure to have a new book by the author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude , and Men and Cartoons… 2004-11-02 Fiction Doubleday
Book Review

Men and Cartoons (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Nov 02, 2004; Writer: Jonathan Lethem; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Doubleday

It's always a pleasure to have a new book by the author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude, and Men and Cartoons almost qualifies as one: It's an ultra-slender volume of nine stories, all but one previously published. Most are set in what fans will recognize as the Letheverse: a world in which loss, loneliness, regret, and romance are no less real because they're enfolded within a sci-fi conceit (in ''The Spray,'' two people toy with an aerosol that makes missing things — and people — fleetingly visible) or lived out by comic-book characters (the book's jewel, ''Super Goat Man,'' makes credible the idea that a retired, third-rate super-hero would end up in a campus teaching job). There's more filler here than a short book should contain — couldn't a collection have waited a couple more years? — but the best of these stories offer potent little distillations of Lethem's considerable imagination.

Originally posted Nov 05, 2004 Published in issue #791 Nov 05, 2004 Order article reprints