So the story is sort of post apocalyptic in that there is an entire city that for some reason is living in a (spaceship?) shaped like a horse. The main character is a man with a wife and teenage son. The guy is weird. At one point he says,

call me (something) call me (something) but don’t call me late to dinner!

I don’t remember why but for some reason this man believes there is a third eye of the horse and I think you can see outside from it. He goes on a mission to find the third eye.

This story is weird as heck but I can’t stop thinking about it and really want to read it again.


This is Jonathan Lethem’s This Shape We’re In.

Lethem, author of the bestselling Motherless Brooklyn , returns in concentrated form - packing twice the adventure into one-eighth the pages. This book could be some kind of allegory book, but it might not be an allegory book at all. It involves people and drinking and people looking for a giant eye. It is among the best things Mr. Lethem has written.

There's a review here that gives some additional detail, mentioning the spaceship (of indeterminate form) and the quest for the third eye.

The book concerns the activities of Henry Farbur, a cretinous drunk of an Everyman who lives in the bizarre world inside a Shape of somewhat indeterminate biological form-- Henry and his wife have a burrow in the bowels, while there's a cathedral in the left lung, and so on. The purpose of the shape is a subject for much speculation among the inhabitants-- religions have sprung up asserting that it's a bomb shelter, or a generation starship, or something else entirely.

There's some snappy writing here, as Henry and his stooge Balkan embark on a quest to find the third eye, with Henry abusing everyone he encounters verbally and otherwise. The final revelation of the purpose of the Shape and the red phones from Central Command was unexpected and clever, which counts for something, but I'm still not entirely sure what the point of the whole thing was.

  • I can't find a copy of This Shape We-re In but in Amnesia Moon Lethem has the phrase "Call me Edge,” Kellogg parroted. “Call me Ishmael. Call me anything, but don’t call me late for dinner." Jul 5 '18 at 5:40
  • @JohnRennie - Interesting. He may have recycled the joke or OP might have some kind of anthology.
    – Valorum
    Jul 5 '18 at 5:45
  • Right on, thank you! Jul 6 '18 at 1:21
  • @Invisiblallama - Don't forget to upvote and mark this is "accepted" using the little tick on the left.
    – Valorum
    Jul 6 '18 at 5:59
  • done! - sorry this was my first post Jul 8 '18 at 23:36

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