The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, 2006 - 320 pages
In The Shape of Things to Come, Greil Marcus untangles the story of America's covenant with itself -and the idealism, horror, eloquence and violence integral to its founding narratives. In a thrilling account that moves back and forth between culture and politics, and with deep dives into the work of a few artists who strikingly dramatize the challenge America poses to each of its citizens - Herman Melville and Raymond Chandler, Philip Roth and David Lynch, Bill Pullman and Sheryl Lee, David Thomas of Pere Ubu and Allen Ginsberg - Marcus captures a story that is constantly being remade and retold, in voices at once paranoid and sardonic, inspiring and terrifying.

What people are saying - Write a review

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: Prophecy and the American Voice

User Review  - Kirkus

Prophets are among us, declares Marcus (Like a Rolling Stone, 2005, etc.): singing and making films, writing novels and poetry. But we rarely listen to them until it's too late.The noted cultural ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gregtmills - LibraryThing

At first blush, pop Zarathustra Greil Marcus's latest book, The Shape of Things to Come, looks like something cooked up by a Sarah Lawrence undergrad in an end-of-term panic. According to Marcus ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2006)

Greil Marcus was born in San Francisco in 1945. He is the author of Mystery Train, Invisible Republic, Lipstick Traces and Double Trouble, and the editor of Lester Bangs's Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. In 1998 he curated the exhibition '1948' at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Marcus writes a bi-weekly column for and a monthly column for Interview. He was described by John Rockwell in the New York Times as 'a writer of rare perception and a genuinely innovative thinker'. Greil Marcus lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic information