City Come a Walkin' (Axoplasm Books) Paperback – 14 Dec 2000
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Those who love urban life and who constitute its originality are represented in the novel respectively by Stu Cole, a hard-bitten classic noir individualist and club owner and his star performer Catz Wailen. Both use their particular geniuses to resist the irresistible cultural depredations of the mob. The most memorable character of the novel is, however, City. City is the reified psyche of San Francisco's population, the personification the city's communal angst. It is the city come to life. City, manifesting himself to Cole on a television explains himself: "A TV is a media outlet for the city. A neuron in my brain. The means I use to transfer the image from video to electron-patterns, bring it through the wires and feed it into you TV--it's a form of telekinesis. Manipulating electronics with thought. At night I have the power in every cerebral battery in the city. A brain stores electricity. I can tap in, when they sleep. During the day I have only the power of those who sleep in the day--far fewer, so I am limited. Though I'm bolstered by people watching TV, since that's a form of sleeping. I'm the sum total of the unconscious cognition of every brain in the city. And I'm Rufe Roscoe [the mob's CEO], too--I'm his self-hatred." (58)
The human characters of the novel are moral creatures: the protagonists are moral, the villain is immoral. In contrast, City, like the population from which he draws his life, is amoral. He acts, often savagely and indiscriminately, only in his own interests, in defense of the creative diversity that sustains urban life. Shirley's story is compelling not because of the plot and only partially because of the pace and grittiness of his writing. It is powerful because of its uncanny evocation of the dangers that affect the cities we love to inhabit.
Other reviews will tell you about the book (the Amazon description is horrible). There are three main characters. The interaction and flow among them is very fascinating. I couldn't wait for the book to end so I could know how Shirley tied up the loose ends; I didn't want the book to end because I was having so much fun.
If you enjoy reflecting on a book after you have read it, then this is a very good catalyst. I heartily recommend it.