Lennon, J Robert

Tagged: Author

(1970-    ) US author whose earlier works, though they occasionally imply the fantastic, can be understood in terms of a heated, surreally dense naturalism. In its depiction of a small town transfigured by a domineering entrepreneur, Happyland (cut version July-October 2006 Harper's; 2013 ebook) edges into the Horror inscape of a writer like Jonathan Carroll; Familiar (2012), on the other hand, can be read as a genuine sf novel. Its protagonist, a middle-aged woman trapped in a desolated life, finds herself suddenly transported into an Alternate World similar, except in her seemingly much improved circumstances, to the reality she has left. An apparent Jonbar Point – the exact event that has enabled her son, in this new world, to avoid death, a survival whose effect is transformative on all around him – is not examined; but the protagonist's attempts to cope with Identity Transfer into an "improved" version of herself, to which she has been inescapably wed, are told with fixating intensity. As with most twenty-first century examples of Fantastika, Familiar gains immensely when its premises are understood literally. [JC]

John Robert Lennon

born: Philipsberg, New Jersey: 7 May 1970



  • The Light of Falling Stars (New York: Riverhead Books, 1997) [hb/Marc J Cohen]
  • The Funnies (New York: Riverhead Books, 1999) [hb/Charles Björklund and Marc J Cohen]
  • On the Night Plain (New York: Henry Holt, 2001) [hb/]
  • Mailman (New York: W W Norton, 2003) [hb/Veet/CSA]
  • Castle (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2009) [hb/Kyle G Hunter]
  • Familiar (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2012) [hb/Kyle G Hunter]
  • Happyland (no place given: Dzanc Books, 2013) [ebook: cut version first appeared July-October 2006 Harper's: publication of 2005 original edition cancelled by W W Norton: na/]
  • Broken River (London: Serpent's Tail, 2017) [pb/]



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