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Before & After Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (UK) (February 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000648302X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006483021
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,465,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Thomas is a young British writer, 27, who works as a flight simulator graphics designer. Before & After is his first novel. He has nothing personal against sheep.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book is a painfully funny satire about the end of the world. Written by an author who writes with incredible intelligence inter-twined with simple, stupid, potty humor, it is appreciable by both sarcastic rocket scientists and drivelling trailer-trash. Thomas uses witty headings, much in the style of "Frasier:" "Route 666" (the deamons must drive a semi along a British motorway, and it's just hell), "Hell's Kitchen" (a section about the Masticating Monks of Montpellier; demons who are great French Chefs), and "Jesus Wants Me For an Electromagnetic Wavefront" (read it and find out). Also, he comes up with crazy metaphores and outlandish discriptions: (describing the spacial dimensions of Hell...)"FORWARD was twisted around UP, which doubld back on itself in a fit of pique. RIGHT did an inverted barrel roll around DOWN, and, after wraping itself twice around LEFT, shot off into infinity. BACKWARDS just gave up on trying to get a look-in and went off to do its own thing. If some bright yound origami expert wsa ever able to build a model of this arrangement it would have sling-shotted him into another dimension." The list of characters is also a high in the book. We have Michael Nostros, a 500-year-old-prophet/professor who has decided to cash in on the end of the world and hole up to save himself. His accomplice is Deborah, a smart, young, beautiful, karate-chopping undergraduate.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By s9701321@chelt.ac.uk on June 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Thomas has written one of the best books that I have read this year, and I have read quite a few! He has a funny and witty way of writing that kept me involved in the book. Exploding sheep, the 'downfall' of the Millenium Dome, the final armageddon, and a new Satan called Nick; all combine to make a great The story is one of your basic end of the world stories, which rely on the main characters to stop it. This time, though, Prof. Mike D. Nostrus (Nostradamus, now a 500 yr old prophet) and his beautiful young assisstant, Deborah, are not out to save the world, just themselves. With his great insight into the future happenings Mike knows when and where the events will be happening, and tries to get as far away as possible. How wrong can one man be.... The final battle scene is one of the best that I have read, and the pictures that are conjured in your mind as the knights of the round table give chase to 'Jean Paul' the abbot of the Masticating Monks of Montpellier are... well read the book and, I promise you will not be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up in Greece and I couldn't put it down. Eventually I had convinced so many people that it was worth reading that I began a "traveler's reading list." Before and After is now on her maiden voyage across the world- I can't imagine how many people have read that particular copy by now, but I do know she has been in Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Germany, London, and New York and Alaska. I can only imagine who is enjoying her now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The back cover of this book says it all..."The sheep shall be the first sign. Those that frolic and hop will detonate with great concussions, The strongest glues will not hold then, their suffering will go unheeded, Until the great triangles depart" "Not with a bang but a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOM!"
I purchased this book at Heathrow on a flight back to the US who could resist a cover with a sheep munching grass and then on the back luanching into space? The entertainment factor of this book is extremely high. If you like Tom Robbins with his ability to impart personality onto inanimate objects or the Hitchhikers guide series with its ability to comically critisize daily life, then you will LOVE not just like this one from Mattew Thomas. Here are just some of the questions answered by this one.
1. What did happen to nostradomus 2. Is the Y2k bug really a problem 3. Who built those pyramids and do they want em back? 4. What does an oxygen deprived fish think as it is dying and being stared at by us humans?
I can only hope Mr. Thomas keeps on and this is not just a 1 hit wonder. I would love to see this one made into a movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're looking for something that's funny in a twisted sort of way, this is a must-read. Thomas has an amazing ability to capture the essence of things in bizarre imagery and exuberant one-liners. The writing is fresh, and the book is one of the most original I've read recently. You have to have a dry sense of humour to really enjoy this book, but I loved it - exploding sheep and all.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Thomas is writing in the British comedy tradition of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin and even Monty Python. It's comedy that works on various levels, with some sophisticated social commentary but also lots and lots of pure silliness. For example, Thomas postulates the Second Law of Thermotheology: '...the Multiverse is awash with faithons, the smallest measurable particle of belief. When enough sentient beings concentrate these sub-belief particles into one particular form the new god appears in a flash of fidelity and in full accordance with the Laws of Conservation of Conviction.' And like the aforenamed commedians, Thomas's wit is particularly aimed at the right--I certainly don't mind that, being a liberal myself, but I suppose there are readers out there who simply won't find their opinions being mocked very funny. Thomas is very English, too, so in order to get all of the references it helps to be an Anglophile--I missed more than a few.
I enjoyed Before and After, but I have to admit that I was also put in mind of a Saturday Night Live skit that goes on too long for the material. Clearly I'm in the minority of reviewers here, but at about page 200 I started to wish he'd just get on with it, and by about page 300 reading had really become a chore. The book went on for another 125 pages and I gamely stayed with it for the resolution of the plot, but the humor had pretty much played itself out by that time. Odd that, for me, the battle of Armageddon was an anticlimax. I hope that Thomas adopts the old show biz addage from now on: Always leave 'em wanting more. Myself, I wanted less...
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