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The Blot By Jonathan Lethem

A New York Times top 100 Notable Book of the Year for 2017.

Alexander Bruno is a man with expensive problems.

Sporting an impeccable tuxedo and trotting the globe, he has spent his adult life as a professional gambler and a successful one at that. His particular line of work: backgammon, at which he extracts large sums of money from men who think they can challenge his peerless acumen.

In Singapore, his luck turned.

Maybe it has something to do with the Blot - a black spot which has emerged to distort Bruno's vision. It's not showing any signs of going away.

In fact, it's spreading, and as Bruno extends his losing streak in Berlin, it becomes clinically clear that the Blot is the symptom of something terrible.

There's a surgeon who can help, an elite specialist, the only one in the world. But surgery is going to involve a lot of money, money that he’s running through fast, to the dismay of his pasty-faced manager, Edgar Falk.

Worse than that, it means returning home. To the land of 'bullying, psychosis and bad taste' otherwise known as contemporary America; specifically: the garish, hash-smoke streets of Berkeley, California.

Here, the unseemly Keith Stolarsky - a childhood friend in possession of an empire of themed burger bars and thrift stores - is king. And he's willing to help Bruno out.

But there was always going to be a price.

Titled The Gambler’s Anatomy in the US, Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel is a whirlwind of a novel, which questions ideas of fate, predetermination and the peculiar accidents of chance and whether anyone can beat the system.

It’s a novel that asks the question: when it comes to life, are we all being played?

‘It’s witty and sexy, too… Mr. Lethem has a touching sense of the lives of obsessive misfits.

They’re his tribe.’ – New York Times

Best-known for his breakthrough novel, Motherless Brooklyn and his semi-autobiographical bestseller, The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem is arguably at his best when writing from and about the cities he has made his home, including Brooklyn and the San Francisco Bay Area. A fictional acrobat, Lethem is known for his playful and experimental writing full of misfit wanderers, eccentric characters and plots that are full of surprises.

A lifelong fan of Philip K. Dick, Lethem is also the co-author of the book The Exegesis of Philip K.