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Lost Everything Paperback – April 10, 2012
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“If you think this sounds like Thomas Pynchon or John Calvin Batchelor territory, you would be correct. Slattery's approach walks a tightrope between absurdism and a kind of accentuated Byzantine realism.” ―The Believer on Liberation
“Liberation is a magical, riveting poetic story of a post-economic America…. Slattery's prose style is complex, poetic, visionary and reeling, a cross between Kerouac and Bradbury, salted with Steinbeck…. It's a heady stew, a road novel shot through with mysticism and a love of freedom that soars over the pages. This is a book to fall in love with.” ―Cory Doctorow
“Liberation combined the serious and the satirical in creating an unforgettable image of a future America beset by the collapse of the dollar and the specter of a new form of slavery.” ―Omnivoracious, naming Liberation Amazon.com's #1 SF&F book of 2008
“For Fans Of: the surreal odyssey of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man; Plan 9 from Outer Space.… For all its colorful characters and gonzo thrills, Slattery's debut is first and foremost a moving portrait of Wendell's griefs. A-” ―Entertainment Weekly on Spaceman Blues
“Slattery's debut is a kaleidoscopic celebration of the immigrant experience.… Pynchon crossed with Steinbeck, painted by Dalí: impossible to summarize, swinging from the surreal to the hyper-real, a brilliantly handled, tumultuous yarn.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Spaceman Blues
“Early reviews of Spaceman Blues threw around the names of Pynchon, Doctorow, and Dick as stylistic touchstones. But Slattery should really be considered alongside NYC homeboys like Lethem and Shteyngart, the former for his loving tweaks of vintage pulp, the latter for his sharp immigrant comedy.” ―The Village Voice
About the Author
Brian Francis Slattery was born and raised in upstate New York. He is an editor for the U.S. Institute of Peace and the New Haven Review. He is the author of Spaceman Blues and Liberation, and is also a musician. He lives near New Haven, CT.
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Top Customer Reviews
The world has seemingly been in the grips of ecological disaster, prompted one assumes by global warming, so that sea levels have risen and rivers have slipped their human bonds and wreaked havoc. At some point, the United States collapsed as a government and in this region at least--along the Susquehanna River between Three Mile Island/Harrisburg and Binghamton NY--war has broken out between two factions. This is all laid out efficiently, concisely, almost with the sense of elegy, by the unnamed narrator who is seemingly researching this story:
Do you see? How the world is now? Nobody can quite say how it came to be this way. There is too much. There is not enough. It started generations ago, and so much has been lost, and even all that I found does not help . . . Our great-grandparents told our grandparents that things were different once, when they were children. A little colder. Simpler. Not as many people were dying . . . There must have been a day, a single day, when it was too late, when we could not go back, but nobody can remember when it was. Do you see? The story I have left to tell is so small, of the people who stayed when everyone else fled. Two men going upriver to get a boy.Read more ›
But underneath that dark premise is something that I think the best SF always draws out: the pure wonder of the human condition. The novel follows a diverse cast of characters from different and sometimes opposing backgrounds: Reverend Bauxite and Sunny Jim, who have set off together to retrieve Jim's son, Aaron, and escape the Big One (a massive, deadly storm weaving in from the west); Sergeant Foote, who has been tasked with hunting down Bauxite and Jim to determine if
they're a threat against the military, and neutralize that threat if necessary; Faisal Jenkins, captain of the Carthage, who wants to ferry people down the river to safety and listens to the river for the day when it will consume him and his ship; and an eclectic mix of secondary characters, from a con artist to a ship's first and second mates to military men and resistance fighters, all searching for a sense of home, a sense of who they were and who they have become, and a sense of what it means to have lost everything but not the will to find it all again.
Lost Everything is about survival, of adapting to dangerous situations and finding a way to still find love, friendship, companionship, trust, and all those things that have helped us form a civilization.Read more ›
"Just a boiling wall of clouds, gray and green and sparked with red lightning, and underneath it, a curtain of flying black rain, rippling with wild wind from one end of the earth to the other... I watched it take a town in the valley, far away below, and it was as though a wave were rolling across the ground, lifting houses, roads, trees, and all -- anything that was still there -- up into the air, into the mouth of the storm."
Along the banks of the river are communities that have suffered from both flooding and the war. Sandbags are piled to keep the river back, but over them the boaters can see smoke from gasoline fires and hear grieving families wailing over their dead. Some days the river banks instead offer markets, capitalism rising from the ashes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very good book, well written, with very realistic characters. You fell the war destruction, and the characters' struggling in every word. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Phoenix
Well, first of all, never mind about the grand quest northward in search of a son. It exists, but only in the sense that Willard's mission up the river exists in Apocalypse Now --... Read morePublished 3 months ago by milo66
I lived in central Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, for quite a few years. Brian Francis Slattery captures the underlying nature of that region perfectly in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nathan Rawling
Mexico native Alfonso Cuarón directed the cinematic adaptation of PD James's Children of Men. I couldn't understand what I loved about this movie. I watched it again. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Samuel Sanders
Slattery is a good writer and has a focus on the history of the characters giving them depth and providing a degree of realism to a sci-fi post-apocalyptic novel. Read morePublished on November 20, 2013 by Vincent the Collector
A fine, literary story, quite mainstream. Beautifully written, but alas somewhat depressing. A fine example of good literary writing. Recommended.Published on August 9, 2013 by James C. Glass
Climate change has become very real. There are no seasons. Water rises. Disease and a civil war follow. Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Jeffrey Swystun
This is a wonderful book worthy of its receiving the 2013 Philip K. Dick award. The author gives you countless characters lifetimes in a few paragraphs in a casual prose that is... Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by Kenneth Meade
Beautifully written, couldn't put it down, anti-war/environmentalist, post apocalyptic, Phillip K Dick Award winner. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Michael A Collins