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Major Karnage Paperback – August 31, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his debut novel, Zajac strives to satirize a host of familiar sf tropes but spends most of the story repeating the same punchlines. Major John Karneski (a.k.a. "Karnage"), a veteran of "The War," is wasting away in an insane asylum when the imminent threat of extraterrestrial invasion prompts him to escape and save the Earth. Once out, Karnage finds himself squaring off not only against scheming "squidbug" aliens, but also against pursuing agents of the Dabney Corporation, whose efforts to enforce world peace seem sinister. Zajac gives Karnage near-superhero powers, but the two most exercised seem to be his ability to talk scatalogically non-stop at high decibel levels and to recover from fade-to-black concussions that end most chapters. Running jokes, including a chatty "Sanity Patch" implant that verbally warns Karnage of his escalating violence levels in the heat of combat, grow increasingly tired with each repetition.
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Review

"There's more than a bit of the joy of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series and the early satire of Heinlein to be found here, by way of Douglas Adams. It's an anything goes, balls to the wall approach that can be wearying, but manages to hit all the right notes."
-Corey Redekop, author of Shelf Monkey
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications; First edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981374662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981374666
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,584,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Most of Gord's previous writing experience has been in television, but please don't hold that against him. He has written for "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy" and "Evil Con Carne". He has written several short stories, one half of a novella, and one book. He lives in Halton Hills with his wife, Alicia.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Sanborn Smith on February 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Major Karnage is a Saturday night party of a novel with machine gun pacing, insane characters and wild plot developments. Karnage is a psychologically ravaged veteran of a pan-Asian war against an enemy known only as Uncle Stanley. Twenty years in an asylum with the remains of his platoon hasn't mellowed his rage a whit. In fact, his Hulk-like fury has to be controlled by a sanity patch which threatens to blow his head off of his shoulders if he ever gets completely out of control. It gauges his anger in a terrorist rainbow of tasty warning colors leading up to death like Peachy Keen, Daffodil and Strawberry Shortcake. Add to this his flashback freakouts whenever anyone mentions The War and you've got a very short fuse about to burn itself out at any moment.

And then the alien invasion comes. Karnage, a being of pure determination but with no plan of which to speak, goes forth into the fray.
Karnage is James Bond resourceful and plays life by ear which infuses the novel with spontaneity and surprise. We never know where the story's going because although Karnage can conceive of a goal, the steps toward that goal's achievement only occur to him on the fly. Along the way we get those smoke-sucking aliens as well as cultists, monsters, a police force dressed as cats and a Disney-esque company which runs the world. And as much as I've just given to you, there are still twists and situations of which you'll never dream.

This is wonderfully ridiculous, cartoony fun that WILL make you laugh, that WILL keep you reading and reading quickly. Zajac channels the spirit of Robert E. Howard for his action scenes and there are a hell of a lot of action scenes. The more mellow scenes actually begin to stand out as anomalies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William W. Crane on September 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I like to read something, occasionally, that doesn't try to be more than is. Just good old fashioned fun escapist reading. Major Karnage is this type of book. I look forward to a sequal and, perhaps, more. Anyone who likes Toby Frost, or Jody Lynn Nye's "Strong Arm Tactics", will enjoy this read.

There you have it. A review that doesn't try to be more than it is. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
one rainy day my parents decided we should go to Barnes & Noble and pick out a book to read. We stayed for about 2 hours and i couldn't pick out a book. then this caught my eye, the first couple pages were amazing so i took it home and ended up finishing it the same day. Im looking forward to what other books Gord Zajac might be releasing in the future
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Format: Paperback
Gord Zajac’s Major Karnage is unpretentious. It doesn’t aspire to be great, just to be good at what it is: a fun, action-packed beach read or airplane wall that will keep you entertained while you got time to kill. And at that it succeeds magnificently.

The title character inhabits what appears to be a world just different enough from ours to protect the author from trademark infringement suits. Initially kept in an asylum to control his hair-trigger temper, he escapes to go on many adventures and in the end (not much of a spoiler) save the world.

There’s not much subtle about this book. The protagonist is the good guy, and anyone who helps him is also a on the side of the angels. Everybody else is an evil villain. It’s that simple. (Foul language in itself doesn’t turn a hero into an anti-hero, folks.) Don’t waste your time looking for layers.

That is my main criticism of Major Karnage (which, again, I enjoyed immensely): that there’s no potential for divided loyalties or for things not being as they seem. If I were telling this story, I’d keep the reader guessing about whether or not Karnage really is crazy, the world really is under attack, and his “troopers” are actually figments of his imagination. But then it would be my book, not Zajac’s, and I’m sure he made the decision consciously. It’s a tradeoff, and I’m coming around to believing that Zajac’s 600-rounds-a-minute pacing was a better choice than all my nits about characterization and subtext.

Still in all, if you’re looking for a book to hold in one hand while you’ve got a can of beer in the other, this is the one you’re looking for. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
A gleefully chaotic sci fi tale of a future world, featuring a tough guy main character with a temper. Karnage stands as the last hope of humanity in the face of an alien invasion... if he can keep from getting his head blown off by his own anger issues. Action packed, fine sense of pacing and timing, and really gritty. Fans of the genre will enjoy this one.
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