J Milligan Jack Fish: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781569473825

Jack Fish: A Novel

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"What an astounding, loony tour de force! Hard-boiled yet comedic, realistic yet absurd-Jack Fish is a noir story told in technicolor. It also puts in time as a real love letter to New York City. J Milligan is a great new writer, and this is a great new book."-Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!

"Dig it: Jack Fish is a wild ride through a groovy new novelist's imagination. It's juicy metaphor, hot satire and a boss meditation on media. J Milligan is here to stay."-James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential

"Wonderful. . . . Told with the same mad glee as Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn or Thom Jones's best stories. I read it with a permanent smile on my face and am happy to say it made me laugh out loud a lot."-Jonathan Carroll, author of White Apples and The Wooden Sea

"At once a love song to New York City and a madcap assassination plot, Jack Fish is funny, smart, and utterly engaging. I read it from start to finish without stopping. You will, too."-Joshua Henkin, author of Swimming Across the Hudson

Somewhere off Coney Island, paddling through seaweed and Styrofoam, is secret agent "Jack Fish." As an operative of the Elders of Atlantis, he is to find their enemy and spear him. Once he gets the hang of breathing on the surface, he can take up his mission. Staggering out of the water, he begins his odyssey into the strange city of New York. He's concerned about adjusting, but if he can make it here, he can make it anywhere. At first worried about being noticed, he discovers the Topworld is teeming with neighborhoods that are like reefs, filled with air breathers who seem as alien as he feels. ("You're from Atlanta?"). Jack Fish is just another dude from out of town, hanging out at the Mermaid Diner, scratching the webbing between his toes.

Headlong and wildly entertaining, Jack Fish does for Atlanteans what Anonymous Rex did for dinosaurs.

J Milligan has been published in The New Yorker and is co-author of a non-fiction book, The Wisdom of Big Bird and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch.

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About the Author:

J Milligan is the co-author, along with Caroll Spinney, of a nonfiction book, The Wisdom of Big Bird and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch (Villard 2003). For five years he was the creative director and head writer at Sesame Workshop's Interactive Media department and he continues to consult on new media projects. Milligan has had work published in The New Yorker and XXL magazine and on word.com and currently he is completing a collection of "awkward stories." He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the artist Amy Yang. They have three cats and a dog.

From Publishers Weekly:

Milligan's debut novel, a wacky sci-fi satire, sets an amphibian secret agent adrift in New York City. Aquaman Jack Fish is an assassin on a mission from the Elders of Atlantis (the fabled lost city actually lies under the sea off the coast of New Jersey) to find a man named Victor Sargasso and kill him. Jack washes up on the beach at Coney Island (wearing a blue mankini swimsuit), where he must learn to respire the Topworld air ("he was breathing like an asthmatic with a bong stuck in his trachea"). Pretty soon he's wandering around New York City, looking for other Atlantean contacts while avoiding Atlantis's deadly enemies, the Maltese. Poor Jack: it's his first assignment and he's about as smart as a goldfish. Tricked by everyone, he stumbles into one mess after another—he even lets Sargasso talk him out of the assassination. Though chased by Maltese soldiers who want to harpoon him, and worried that other Atlantean spies will kill him for failing to complete his mission, Jack still has time to discover the delights of sex and tasty hamburgers. When Jack finally discovers why Sargasso must be killed, he knuckles down—but will he succeed? Zany, bouncy, endlessly droll, Milligan's story is filled with oddball characters and cheeky irreverence, and through the eyes of a true foreigner New York seems more grimy, eccentric and alive than ever. (Jan.)
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