Title: AS SHE CLIMBED ACROSS THE TABLE - Scarce ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Doubleday, 1997
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 212 pages. Published in 1997. The author's third novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jonathan Lethem's "As She Climbed Across The Table". The author's "hommage" novel to his three great, lifelong passions as a reader and writer: The romance novel, science fiction, and Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". The main character is a genius-physicist named Alice Coombs, who has discovered the ultimate black hole in the universe, which she and her colleagues have called "Lack". A professor makes a brilliant discovery of his own: That he is deeply and madly in Love with Alice. "A daring and delightful tale of Alice's modern journey through the looking glass. A deeply strange, moving, and hilarious love story about a woman, a man, and the great space between them" (Publisher's blurb). A triumphant achievement. An absolute "must-have" title for Jonathan Lethem collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Jonathan Lethem. The signature fills up the page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Crawford Award for Best Fantasy Novel and the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1994 for "Gun, With Occasional Music". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999 for "Motherless Brooklyn". Selected as one of the "Best Books of The Year" by the New York Times in 2003 for "Fortress of Solitude". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2005. One of the most brilliant new voices in American literature. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JONATHAN LETHEM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0385485174. Bookseller Inventory # 9230
Synopsis: Philip is in love with Alice. As the novel opens, he is beginning to lose her. Not to another man, as he fears, but to, literally, nothing. Alice is a physicist, and a team at the University where both she and Philip work has created a hole, a vacuum, a doorway of nothingness inside the laboratory. They call it "Lack." Alice becomes obsessed with Lack, as Philip is obsessed by Alice.
The novel is at the same time an astute and wise portrait of unrequited love (albeit of a very unusual kind) a hilarious academic parody, a novel of ideas and a social satire. It is utterly original, but in the school of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Katherine Dunn, and David Foster Wallace.
Passion, humor, yearning and knowledge, blended together in a suspenseful love story that could be characterized as "American Magical Realism."
Review: Particle physics, false vacuum bubbles, an alternate universe--this is the stuff of Jonathan Lethem's novel As She Climbed Across the Table. The tale echoes Alice in Wonderland in its mad tumble through a rearranged reality. Narrator Phillip Engstrand is a university professor who has made a career out of studying academic environments. Engstrand is in love with Alice Coombs, a particle physicist engaged in a bold attempt to replicate the origins of the universe. The result of the experiment is Lack, a very selective black hole that sucks some things into its void--a cat, a pair of socks, a strawberry--and rejects others, namely, a love-struck Alice. As Alice's unrequited obsession with Lack grows, Phillip becomes so desperate to save his beloved from this empty rival that he risks a journey down the metaphysical rabbit hole.
Here the language of physics becomes the language of love: describing physics' "observer problem," Alice says, "Some people think the observer's consciousness determines the spin or even the existence of the electron." Later, as he stumbles to explain Alice's importance to him, Phillip tells her, "I'm not sure I really exist except under your observation." In this memorable little book, Lethem explores the cosmic possibilities of love.
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