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With Lookout Cartridge, Joseph McElroy established a reputation as one of contemporary fiction's foremost innovators and deft observers into the fissures of modern society. It is a novel of dazzling intricacy, absorbing suspense, and the highest ambition: to redeem the great claim of paranoia on the American psyche.
In trying to figure out just who is so threatened by an innocent piece of cinema verité filmed in collaboration with a friend, Cartwright finds himself at the heart of a mystery stretching from New York and London to Corsica and Stonehenge. With each new fact he gathers, both the intricacy of the syndicate arrayed against him and what his search will cost him become alarmingly clear.
instead imagination or a dispersion of probabilities. But as soon as I think, looking through Krish to an avenue or an antenna, that a miracle won’t be needed against him, my body gets heavy and uncoordinated the way it did one day near the end when I had a fight with Ned Noble, my muscle against the indifferent play of his mind. Krish advised me to tell him at once where the Bonfire had been cached, why I’d come here rather than somewhere else, why I’d given the alias to Andsworth’s
that Lorna was Jewish—and Alba the night we came back from the base was so restless, up and down, smoking, cocking her wrist, jumping to change a record-band, that she would have constituted a struggling current in the ultimate footage: but Dagger yakking on about Cartwright’s unique plan for a moving terminal had not changed the aperture, and though he said he’d send the film in, there was no hope—as it turned out—at that speed apparently you need much more light. And since I was going away mad,
flow from the flash that had now vanished (though was the emptiness in Sub’s flat yesterday before Jenny’s call merely the pumpkin grinning or was my cockeyed idea right that it was an emptiness that belonged to me like a grin I might grin through that emptiness appropriating it)—I weighed what Nash had said: they had feared I would go ahead with what had been called off; and Nash and the Frenchman had learned from the janitor last night that Jack Flint had cameras going right through the walls
behind her—a poster three times the size of its subject which in the grainy blow-up seemed slow-motion even more than enlargement, a slim arm—elbow to fingertips—Claire’s I sensed (though I do not know why)—and a free margin all round. Granted, I’d have looked Claire up cable or no cable. I told her how Will was half talking to himself one night in the kitchen and was muttering something about pulley blocks and hoisting yourself up in there to see some of that stuff meant only for God, and
between Dagger and me drawn so faintly Aut might guess at most that Dagger was impulsive and casual, I reflective, also imaginative, also plodding. Jerry and his friend John, the fellow in glasses, had made up their minds we were a couple of hacks. Anything of use must follow from that. I was half-dressed and toweling my hair when Claire came down to say we were eating Mexican tonight. She had had her black clogs on before, so I assumed her bag was in or near the living room, not in the upper