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Amnesiascope Paperback – Sep 1 1997

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
more emotion, less events. July 19 1998
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, my personal favorite of Erickson's. The style is more confessional and deals more with the emotions of the charachers than the events of the story, which are typical of Erickson: shattered time zones and the chaos of a city caught in the aftermath of an apocalypic earthquake. The book reads like a dream and when you're done you can't remember what world you are meant to be a part of, you won't recognise your own house or your oface in the mirror. Reading this book, or any Erickson really, will completely redefine everything you ever took for granted. You'll never think the same way again. And it's worth it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A dark illumination Dec 5 2000
By Minsma - Published on
Format: Paperback
I liked this novel about as well as any I've read in a long time--though if you are looking for heavily plot-driven fiction, this may not be the book for you. Things *do* happen in Amnesiascope, conveyed through the narrator's hilarious, pathetic, decadent but conscience-ridden monologue, but this is a novel which is less about plot and much more about voice and place. Erickson's romantic-cynic narrator explores what's left of a millennial L.A., where strange, warped things exist without ever being quite fully explained, and the rest of the world goes on unchanged.
Stories involving a noir, Apocalyptic L.A. can sometimes be boring and cliched these days, but L.A.'s noir side works with bittersweet absurdity here. That is because it is written from within the heart of L.A., fully cognizant of the city's flaws, but with a crazy grief and a crazy love that goes deeper than the surface perceptions of this city often portrayed by the media. Amnesiascope (and L.A. and the narrator) is demented, cynical, and heartbreaking, but also a place where individuality flourishes; it is hallucinatory and real; erotic and kinky, but with a deep and struggling romanticism buried beneath the wreckage of the narrator's life and his ruined city. Because ultimately, this novel is a heroic call to keep living life on your own terms, to say the things that need to be said, to reinvent yourself every time a part of you is killed off, and most romantic of all, to keep trying to be free in a society that wants to box you up and define you by its own boring cliches.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a seductive insomniac nightmare Aug. 30 2004
By Sean C. Scott - Published on
Format: Paperback
Existential entropy is the dominant theme of Steve Erickson's sixth book, a meditation on the persistence of memory, the disappearance of the real, and the no-man's-land between fact and imagination.

With limber, hypnotic prose and vivid imagery, the nameless narrator leads us through a landscape of paranoia, sex, and decay. Though this no-man's-land takes the shape of L.A. early in the next century, the novel's axes are psychology and identity, not society and technology.

One of the narrator's obsessions is what he calls the Cinema of Hysteria: "movies that make no sense at all - and we understand them completely." Similarly, this tale seems plotless; but, as in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, the arbitrary oddities slowly coalesce into a haunting whole. Erickson has spun a cunning web - less a book of laughter and forgetting than a seductive insomniac nightmare of hysteria and amnesia.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Moving and deliciously strange Jan. 31 2001
By Mac Tonnies - Published on
Format: Paperback
Erickson's dark, quirkily romantic future L.A. has the resonance of one of J.G. Ballard's apocalyptic landscapes. Like voyeurs, we're ushered into a world of flickering volcanic fires, leaking hotels and anxiety-run-rampant in the tradition of DeLillo's "White Noise" and Pynchon's "Vineland."
"Amnesiascope" is far more than a meditation on nightlife. Erickson's meticulously wrought characters are what propels this odd, gorgeous book. At once experimental and character-driven, "Amnesiacope" succeeds in its well-honed balance between landscape and psyche, empathy and urban detachment. There wasn't a moment I didn't like; "Amnesiacope" stands as one of the most moving near-future novels to have graced the genre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not Erickson's best, but certainly his most enjoyable. July 7 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Steve Erickson is a literary heavy weight, destined to be mentioned amidst names such as Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Vladmir Nabokov and Richard Powers. His books are uniquely intrigueing, informative and essentialy novels of ideas. Amnesiascope is not his most complex novel, nor his most thought-provoking. It does, however touch on ideas and philosiphies that are interesting and is a pleasure to read. Spellbinding and captivating, The book was an absolutely enjoyable experience to read

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