Friday Reads: Mappalujo by Jeff Noon & Steve Beard

From Amazon.com:
Mappalujo is a shared dream set in the twilight realm of Lujo, a city dominated by the surreal cartoons and artificially bred toy creatures of the Zeno Entertainment Company. Since the company’s founder died in mysterious circumstances, Zeno’s visions have become darker and even more sinister. An identity-altering drug is leaking onto the streets. For a few brilliant, flickering moments users are transformed into famous or infamous celebrities, only to find that the other side of fame lies in the gutter, or in death. The novel follows a lowly salesman, an information gatherer, a private detective and a teenage psychic. Four stories, four people – each of them connected to the bizarre fate of Zeno, its bitter heir, and a hostile faery spirit named Mama Lujo. Here is one city’s epic tale told in seventy-five chapters, each influenced by a different iconic figure. From Lewis Carroll to Patti Smith, from Sigmund Freud to Raymond Chandler and Sophie Calle – the ghosts haunting the streets of Lujo are all conjured from the collective unconscious of the modern media age. Mappalujo is baroque science fiction, tumbling with ideas and images, exuberant to the extreme. It documents a world only a few metres and a few minutes away from our own – yet stranger by far.”

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