The Visible Man

By Chuck Klosterman

Scribner, $25, 240 pages

Who is this author?

You may know Chuck Klosterman from his essays on pop culture in Esquire, or his contributions to  GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer and The Washington Post, or his many collections, such as “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto” or “Eating the Dinosaur.” He’s earned a reputation for being a brilliant analysis of all things pop, especially rock and sports. Born in Minnesota and raised in North Dakota, he nonetheless brings an urbane perspective to life in these United States.

What is this book about?

His first novel, “Downtown Owl,” was about the fictional town of Owl, N.D., but “The Visible Man” is a bit more esoteric. In it, Victoria Vick, a therapist in Texas, takes on a strange patient…whom she never sees… who says he stole government secrets that can make him almost invisible and allow him to spy on other people’s ordinary lives. Is he for real or delusional? One thing seems sure: his mysterious story is driving his therapist crazy and destroying her life.

Why you’ll like it:

Klosterman’s book explores much of modern life: culture, the media, privacy, the way voyeurism attracts some and repels others – subjects he has dealt with in his essays. It’s written with sly, deadpan humor and uncommon insight into modern America. The Los Angeles Times says this of his writing in general:“With a casually smart, conversational style that can recall the sort of debates that happen among friends at last call, Klosterman can burrow into ABBA, Chris Gaines-era Garth Brooks and the social implication of the laugh track with a left-field humor and lightly twisted curiosity that’s consistently thought-provoking.”

What others are saying:

“… strikingly original, a vibrant mix of thriller, sci-fi, and literary fiction genres,” says Publishers Weekly.

“Klosterman has conjured up a novel that manages to be both wildly experimental and accessible, while making perceptive observations about privacy, human nature, and of course, the author’s forte, pop culture,” says Entertainment Weekly.

“The Visible Man is a rich, fast-paced and funny novel made to entertain lovers of literary metafiction, sci-fi and thrillers,” says the Dallas Morning News

“Hidden beneath The Visible Man’s kaleidoscopic structure and high-wire stunts in an irrefutable narrative logic…. Klosterman knows when to get out of the way. . . . All fiction should be so sly,” says

When is it available?

It’s visible now on the new books shelf at the Hartford Public Library.

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