“A comedic noir [that] brims throughout with hyperspecific detail and hipster patois. . . . I was, uh, fairly hooked.”—Henry Alford, The New York Times Book Review
“Zany, bouncy, endlessly droll. . . . Through the eyes of a true foreigner New York seems more grimy, eccentric, and alive than ever.”—Publishers Weekly
“Greatly entertaining.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A pure pleasure.”—Booklist
“A breezy romp through downtown’s metrosexual underbelly.”—The Village Voice
“A wild ride through a groovy new novelist’s imagination.”—James Ellroy
“An astonishing literary debut. . . . No doubt about it, Jack Fish will blow you out of the water.”—Eric Garcia
“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
Somewhere off Coney Island, paddling through the seaweed and Styrofoam, is secret agent Jack Fish. As an operative of the Elders of Atlantis, he is to locate their enemy and spear him.
Staggering out of the water, Jack begins his odyssey into the strange city of New York. He’s concerned about adjusting, but he discovers the Topworld is teeming with air-breathers who seem as alien as he feels. (“You’re from Atlanta?”) If he can make it here, he can make it anywhere.
Jack Fish is just another dude from out of town, hanging out at the Mermaid Diner, scratching the webbing between his toes.
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J Milligan is the co-author of a nonfiction book, The Wisdom of Big Bird and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch (Villard 2003). He has been published in The New Yorker and XXL magazine and on word.com. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the artist Amy Yang, and their daughter. Jack Fish is his first novel.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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