Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $5.36 (36%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Sewer, Gas and Electric: ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: No guarantee on products that contain supplements and some products may include highlighting and writing.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (Public Works Trilogy) Paperback – September 10, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.59
$4.98 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$9.59 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (Public Works Trilogy)
  • +
  • Fool on the Hill: A Novel
  • +
  • The Mirage: A Novel
Total price: $35.97
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The closest fictional relatives of Sewer, Gas & Electric may not be books at all but visionary movies like Brazil and Blade Runner. A comic writer and Information Age social satirist of the first water, Matt Ruff has one of the most fertile imaginations you'll come across, and the confident chops to string the fruits of this inventive intelligence together. The story is set in a near-future Manhattan of mile-high skyscraper construction projects, eco-terrorism, man-eating mutant sewer-dwelling white sharks and even more dangerous corporations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Arriving eight years after his auspicious debut (Fool on the Hill), Ruff's second novel is a gargantuan but uneven tome: a tripartite, SF roller-coaster satirizing the horrors of our nascent technocracy. Set in New York city in the year 2023, it features a huge cast of characters, including humans, androids and a mutant great white shark, all revolving around Harry Gant, a Donald Trump-style billionaire real estate developer who's building the world's tallest skyscraper, a "new Tower of Babel." Holding the many subplots together is Gant's ex-wife, Joan Fine, who sets out to investigate the murder of a Wall Street financier who had sought to topple Gant Industries and who was ostensibly beaten to death with a signed first edition of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. As Fine's research leads her through the history of the Walt Disney Co., Gant Industries and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, not to mention many digressions into Rand's theory of Objectivism, she uncovers a sweeping conspiracy involving a mysterious black plague that wiped out the entire black race at the turn of the 21st century. Ruff uses a cartoonist's palette in his portraits of everyone and everything: Philo Dufresne, the eco-terrorist captain of a Yellow Submarine-style vessel called Yabba-Dabba-Doo; Harvard-educated pornographer Lexa Thatcher; an attack submarine called City of Women (wo)manned by one Wendy Mankiller; a whole caste of "Electric Negroes" who serve the city's white upper class. Told with breezy good humor, this exuberantly silly tale will find an audience among admirers of the day-glo surrealism of Steve Erickson and the tangled conspiracy theories of David Foster Wallace. What is absent here are the carefully honed language and the attention to nuance and character necessary to prevent Ruff's own Tower of Babel from sagging under the weight of his pell-mell special effects.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802141552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802141552
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on August 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Matt Ruff has written three novels in a literary career spanning nearly two decades; all three are rooted somehow in fantasy and should be regarded as fine examples of speculative fiction. "Sewer, Gas Electric: The Public Works Trilogy" is a dazzling, hilarious cyberpunk adventure set in the New York City of 2023. Ruff conjurs up a bizarre, almost dystopian, view of a near-future New York City laced with the political wisdom of Ayn Rand, who returns, resurrected as a major protagonist in this novel. Multi-billionaire Harry Gant strives to build the tallest building in the world while his ex-wife, Joan Fine, is joined by Ayn Rand, as they wage war against homicidal robots and a sinister conspiracy involving Walt Disney and J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's legendary first director, within the sewers of Manhattan. Ruff's novel is just as hilarious as Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash", but quite a bit longer. And not only are there apt comparisons to Stephenson's work here, but I can see some influence from the likes of Thomas Pynchon, Bruce Sterling and William Gibson too. Fans of "Snow Crash" and other cyberpunk fiction will not wish to miss this book. Without question, "Sewer, Gas, Electric: The Public Works Trilogy" is Ruff's splendid sophomore outing, and demonstrates to me why he may be the finest writer ever to have graduated from New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School.
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having devoured "Fool On The Hill," I moved on to "Sewer Gas And Electric: The Public Works Trilogy" expecting more of the same. I didn't get the same, I got better. Ruff is a man who knows how to weave a plot around a multitude of characters, and give each their own distinctive voice. The voices of Abbie Hoffman and Ayn Rand can be clearly heard through their technological doppelgangers (if you know either character, or both, you will collapse laughing during one scene where Abbie is desperately trying to tell Ayn a joke). I read most of this novel during a vacation at Walt Disney World (which is ironic since Disney plays a pivotal part in the plot) and found the book more engrossing than some of the activities we undertook in the park. But be warned: if you worship Ayn Rand (there is a scathing attack on "Atlas Shrugged" within the book), believe that the environment will take care of itself, or are a racist, you will hate this book. You have been warned. Everyone else should give it a try.
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Sewer, Gas and Electic is one of the strangest, most off-the-wall books I've read in years. And I loved almost every bit of it. If this is representive of Matt Ruff's work, he's a brilliant writer.
The only reason that I didn't give the book five stars is that the ending is a bit weak compared to the rest of the book. But, regardless of the ending, the ride was worth it.
The cast of Sewer, Gas and Electric includes a Multi-Billionare businessman, Harry Gant. Harry wants to do the right thing, but doing the right thing is boring -- it just doesn't hold his attention. So, he hired an environmentalist that he'd dated in college, Joan, as an executive in his company to keep him honest. They battle over company decisions and eventually marry and then divorce, all the time where the story occurs.
Other characters include a non-violent eco-terrorist with a submarine decorated with pink polka dots that he docks under the statue of liberty, the crew of the submarine, including a mixed Israeli/Palestinian family, and a few war veterns suffering from serious PTSD. Oh, and we can't forget the VERY evolved, very dangerous shark that has escaped from the NY City sewers. And the Queen of England...
Early on in the book, it isn't clear whether the plot revolves around Gant's quest to build a mile-high tower or the eco-terrorists efforts to stop Gant industries from drilling for oil in the Antarctica. It turns out that its neither.
I really don't want to give anything away. If you like science fiction and you enjoy off the wall plots and don't mind a bit of politically incorrect humor, you'll LOVE this book.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, let's see. How can you possibly describe a book featuring a 181 year-old female U.S. Civil War veteran, a book gleefully unwilling to explain how such a person could end up still alive in the year 2023? A book detailing an extremely selective plague, wiping out the world's black population, only to be replaced by jive-talking Amos and Andy robotic equivilents? A book following the exploits of a submarine-based eco-terrorist team, floating through the world's oceans in a home-brewed high-tech submersible, hunted by the world's nicest billionaire industrialist? A book featuring the arch-conservative musings of author Ayn Rand's holographic likeness in a jar?
Wait a minute, I just did. At any rate, think of this book as a demented Neal Stephenson on acid. On top of a bedrock of solid characterizations and a fully coalesced storyline, Ruff constructs some of the strangest situations, oddest segues and wackiest future forcasts in recent memory. It may get a bit confusing at times, and Ayn does tend to grate on about the glories of U.S. mass consumption, but trust me...it's a G.A.S.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (Public Works Trilogy)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (Public Works Trilogy)