BOOKS

NK3

Michael Tolkin

RRP: £12.99

7 September 2017

Published by Grove Press

ISBN: 9781611855180

RRP: £7.99

7 September 2017

Published by Grove Press

ISBN: 9781611859478

The H LYW OD sign presides over a Los Angeles devastated by a weaponized microbe that has been accidentally spread around the globe, deleting human identity. In post-NK3 Los Angeles, a sixty-foot-tall fence surrounds the hills where the rich used to live, but the mansions have been taken over by those with the only power that matters: the power of memory.

Inside the Fence, life for the new aristocracy, a society of the partially rehabilitated who call themselves the Verified, is a perpetual party. Outside the Fence, in downtown Los Angeles, the Verified use an invented mythology to keep control over the mindless Drifters, Shamblers and Bottle Bangers who serve the gift economy until no longer needed. The ruler, Chief, takes his guidance from gigantic effigies of a man and a woman in the heart of the Fence.

They warn him of trouble to come, but who is the person to watch: the elusive Eckmann, holed up with the last functioning plane at LAX; Shannon Squier, the chisel-wielding pop superstar from the pre-NK3 world, pulled from the shambling masses; a treacherous member of Chief’s inner circle; or Hopper, the uncommon Drifter compelled by an inner voice to search for a wife whose name and face he doesn’t know? Each threatens to upset the delicate power balance in this fragile world.

In deliciously dark prose, Tolkin winds a noose-like plot around this melee of despots, prophets and rebels as they struggle for command and survival in a town that still manages to exert a magnetic force, even as a ruined husk.

REVIEWS

Brave, brilliant and barely speculative... Part cartoon and part allegory, it's tempting to call NK3 the first book of the Trump era.Chris Kraus, author of I LOVE DICK

NK3 is either the last great Hollywood novel or the first great book of Burning Man... a strangely terrifying if celebratory novel of remnants, fragments, the nag of one's inner voice, and dim reminders of the dissolve that has become America.A. M. Homes
Vanity Fair

NK3 is nightmare and satire, thriller and warning. Crafted by a master storyteller, it is a haunting parable about civilization marching forward, while forgetting what it leaves behind.
Los Angeles Review of Books

[An] ingenious dystopian thriller... clever entertainment
Washington Post

Darkly satirical... At a time of alternative facts and a bend toward cultural amnesia, NK3 feels especially prescient.
San Francisco Chronicle

An intricate and cleverly constructed account of the aftermath of a North Korean chemical attack
New Yorker

Tolkin's mad world of imbeciles and cast-offs bears a cruel resemblance to our own, yet he approaches it kindly, with mournful pity. An inspired speculative satire, wickedly stimulating but soulful, too. It got to me, this novel. I just can't shake it.Walter Kirn

As an existentialist horror story, NK3 tautly proposes a future that now, in post-factual America, seems closer than ever.Jon Robin Baitz

Michael Tolkin is an L.A. Antonioni with a sense of humour.
New Yorker

One of the most wounding and satirical of all Hollywood exposés: dark and mordant . . . A nightmare rendered with icy precision.
L.A. Times on THE PLAYER

Tolkin remains impressive as a scorched-earth social satirist.
New York Times on RETURN OF THE PLAYER