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Set in the world of authors, artists, and their patrons this novel explores the conflict between art for art sake and art for profit and fame.
It was quite controversial in it's day; some accusing Wright of preaching and others supporting his observations.
Tarkington was a widely read and prolific multiple Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and dramatist.
The story uses a tale of two families following different trajectories but linked by romance to provide a glimpse of the changes induced by industrialization and urbanization.
Mac Tonnies' Cyberpunk/Postmodern Book Reviews calls Metrophage "one of the quintessential 1980s cyberpunk novels," going on to describe "a gritty acid-trip through an ultraviolent L.A. where nothing is what it seems.... Alongside novels such as [William Gibson's] Neuromancer and Lewis Shiner's debut novel Frontera, Metrophage helped establish the cyberpunk aesthetic: relentless, paranoid and playfully cynical."
Satirical newspaper, Punch, mocked the work referring to it as "Can you stand her?" due to the protagonist's inability to decide between her two suitors. Alice Vavasor is currently engaged to the respectable John Grey. She had previously broken off an engagement to her wild cousin George. John does not object when Alice plans a tour Switzerland with ex-fiance George and his sister Kate...
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