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Levin, Adam

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(circa 1976-    ) US author, active from around 2000, whose first novel, The Instructions (2010), set in a private school for unmanageable children in Chicago, follows its precocious gonzo protagonist through over-the-top disquisitions and – the tale here verges on the fantastic – something like a revolution, with him as Messiah. Bubblegum (2020), is an Alternate History tale set in an America without social media, in the absence of which the Media Landscape – as nature abhors a vacuum – is invaded by inanimate objects attractive, like service pets, to needy humans; the interaction of these "Botimals" with humans, as with the "Kentukis" in Samanta Schweblin's slightly earlier Little Eyes (2018), have a tamagotchi intensity: for if they are not catered to, they die. Eventually a manufactured "blank" called Blank gains something like human shape and autonomy, becoming a kind of sin-eater target for the homo sapiens need to torture the world it occupies. [JC]

Adam Levin

born America: circa 1976


  • Instructions (San Francisco, California: McSweeney's Rectangulars, 2010) [hb/Rachel Sumpter and Jacob Magraw-Mickelson]
  • Bubblegum (New York: Doubleday, 2020) [hb/]

collections and stories

  • Hot Pink (San Francisco, California: McSweeney's Rectangulars, 2011) [coll: hb/]


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