7 June 2018
Published by Grove Press
7 September 2017
Published by Grove Press
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.
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.
Michael Tolkin is an L.A. Antonioni with a sense of humour.
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
Tolkin's novel is both a harrowing future dystopia and an extreme satire on our present
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
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
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.
As an existentialist horror story, NK3 tautly proposes a future that now, in post-factual America, seems closer than ever.
Jon Robin Baitz
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