Dreaming of Babylon:

A Private Eye Novel 1942

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It is early 1942. You are in San Francisco, and you need a private eye. Sam Spade is rumored to be in Istanbul. The Continental Op has been drafted and is a sergeant in the Aleutians. Philip Marlowe is up at Little Fawn Lake investigating the disappearance of Mrs. Derace Kingsley. Lew Archer is in the army. Who’s left? Nobody but C. Card. You haven’t heard of C. Card? That’s all right. Nobody has.

When you hire C. Card, the hero of Richard Brautigan’s eighth novel, you have scraped the bottom of the private-eye barrel. But you won’t be bored. No, indeed. Because when C. Card finds some bullets for his gun, you will be in for some fast, funny, slam-bang private eye adventures. Unless of course C. Card starts dreaming of Babylon. If C. Card starts dreaming of Babylon, all bets are off.

Not since Trout Fishing in America has Brautigan so successfully combined his wild sense of humor with the incredible poetic imagination he is rightfully famous for around the world. The adventures of seedy, not-too-bright C. Card, as he carefully wends his way between fantasy and reality, Babylon and San Francisco, are a delight to both the mind and the heart.

Editorial Reviews

Babylon upends the conventional private eye novel…A masterful comedy mixed with pathos.”

Booklist

Author Biography

Richard Brautigan (1935–1984) was a literary idol of the 1960s and 1970s whose comic genius and iconoclastic vision of American life caught the imagination of young people everywhere. He was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, and moved to San Francisco in the mid-1950s when he became involved in the emerging beat scene. During the 1960s, he became one of the most prominent and prolific writers of the counterculture. Out of this period came some of his most famous works, the best known of which are Trout Fishing in America; his collection of poetry, The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster; and his collection of stories, Revenge of the Lawn. Translated the world over, his works helped establish him as one of the most significant American writers of his generation. As his popularity waned towards the end of the 1970s, he became increasingly disillusioned about his work and his life. He committed suicide in 1984. He was the author of eleven novels, ten volumes of poetry, a collection of short stories, and miscellaneous nonfiction pieces, works that often employed parody, satire, and black comedy.

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Reader Biography

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award–winning narrator, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.

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