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Spaceman Blues: A Love Song Kindle Edition

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Length: 228 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Editor/writer/musician Slattery's chaotic debut takes readers on a headlong trip to the end of the world. Manuel González, a legendary New York City party animal, has disappeared and his apartment has exploded, leaving behind only the memories of his thousands of friends and enemies. His lover, Wendell Apogee, is determined to find out what happened. So are police inspectors Herman Trout and Lenny Salmon, who uncover a web of bizarre characters, from Lucas Henderson, former Lunar Temple cult member, and Arturo El Flaco Domínguez, González's worst enemy, to a washed-up '80s pop band the Marsupials. As Wendell tracks González through Darktown, the place where you find lost things, the prophecies of the apocalyptic Church of Panic begin coming true: aliens threaten to invade Earth, and Wendell must become superhero Captain Spaceman and save the planet. The story itself doesn't make much sense, but Slattery has a grand time showing off the colorful underground culture of cockfights, raves and endless intoxication that keeps things moving in his hallucinatory vision of New York. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Manuel Rodrigo de Guzmán González disappears, his apartment is consumed by an explosion, and most of the city mourns as though he's dead. The police aren't convinced, and after they question Wendell Apogee, Wendell decides to find out for himself. He doesn't foresee the madhouse things he then proceeds to do—asking questions during a cockfight that gets raided, finding an apocalyptic cult based on valid scientific evidence, going to an underground city in which the best bar is a train car hung from a cavern ceiling. He is changed forever. When aliens come for him wielding weapons from Manuel's apartment, Wendell has to shake up his ordinary life and become someone able to fight such seemingly unstoppable foes. And, wouldn't you know it, the aliens are just forerunners of something bigger and far more devastating than anyone suspected—anyone, that is, except a few who stumbled on certain evidence and created an apocalyptic cult. Spaceman Blues is a mad ride related by a pulp sensibility filtered through the nonstop freneticism of New York's subcultures, real and imagined. Schroeder, Regina

Product Details

  • File Size: 518 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043M6IW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,169 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Brian Francis Slattery is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, and Lost Everything, as well as a handful of short stories. He edits public-policy publications by day and is a musician by night; he is also an editor of the New Haven Review. He lives just outside of New Haven, CT with his family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zinta Aistars on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
An apartment explodes, and, supposedly, Manuel González is blown to smithereens along with it. Or is he? Brian Francis Slattery's debut novel, "Spaceman Blues: A Love Song," is an explosion of words, all in bright sparks, in all directions, a flaming sky of beautiful chaos. Even when I had trouble following this surreal story, I loved reading it. It almost didn't have to make sense. Sometimes the joy of literary paint splashing on walls, Pollack if this were visual, Monk if this were musical, is enough to enthrall the audience:

"He could find another man, sweet and kind; they could retire to a house upstate with flowing windows, where the roads are framed in green and there are only the assured rhythms of farm equipment, occasional guests, the piling and melting of snow, mud in the spring, angry summers mollified by shade and wind. He could let this rage cut wrinkles into him and dissipate. He could let solace in.

"But he is here now. Subways mumble above his head, the tugboat shudders on its cables. Children swing from spindly walkways, singing songs over the thrum of music and machinery. Every second is another escape from death: it swings by, brushes your clothes, and then wheels around, cheated and livid, and you plant your feet on the crumbling rock, curl your hands into fists. Come and get me." (pg. 111)

As authorities and Wendell Apogee, González's gay lover, track him through Darktown, an underlayer of New York that serves as the dryer to lost socks, the scenes become ever more surreal, wheeling in every direction, mixing with alien life (forms and style), swimming in apocalyptic madness toward the final days on earth. No matter if you lose track of this wild path. Enjoy the dizzy ride.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Jordan Bickel on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many good reviews for this book already - they helped me decide to buy this book in the first place. Check them out. The best praise I can personally give this book (that hasn't already been said) is this: After reading Spaceman Blues I bought two more hard back copies and gave them to my friends.

This book is good stuff and if it signals a trend in the genre then I am officially stoked about our reading futures.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Orenstein on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Pynchonesque" was an accurate preview; this is a multi-cultural Pynchon brought to the sci-fi set. New Yorkers will recognize the urban landscape. But most of all, this is gripping, dazzling, and fun. Clearly, the one previous review just "didn't get it", although I'd grant that he's right that a comparison with Gibson is not the right one. One more key thing: if you're a fan of the music scene, that is captured effectively here, too.
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Format: Hardcover
Brian Francis Slattery introduces readers to a Brooklyn, New York unlike any other in his impressive debut novel "Spaceman Blues: A Love Song"; a most beguiling blend of comic book fiction, fantasy and science fiction from one of the most distinctive and original voices working not only in science fiction, but indeed, all of contemporary fiction today. In a literary style that echoes Thomas Pynchon and the latest Rick Moody, Slattery presents an apocalyptic vision of a near future Brooklyn on the brink of an alien invasion, rendered in a visual style that will remind readers of Jonathan Lethem's "Motherless Brooklyn" and "The Fortress of Solitude", but one that resonates more strongly as a superb American version of China Mieville's "weird fiction", instantly transforming Brooklyn into a fantastical realm that bears more than a passing resemblance to Mieville's New Crobuzon ("Perdido Street Station") and London ("Kraken"). However, Slattery's version of Brooklyn isn't nearly as nightmarish as Mieville's; instead, it is filled with ample doses of immigrant humor quite akin to what readers have come to expect from Gary Shteyngart ("Absurdistan", "Super Sad True Love Story"). What is especially impressive with Slattery's debut is that he somehow accomplishes all of this via a most economical literary style that others might find most daunting, but, in Slattery's hands, demonstrates just how accomplished a storyteller and prose stylist he is; this is an outstanding work of fiction by a mature writer, not a first-time novelist.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
_Spaceman Blues _ is a wonderful, rollicking roller coaster of a novel that swings and sings. Brian Slattery's prose style enlivens every line, with sentences that spill into each other in a kaleidoscope of people, places and passions. His writing resembles a version of Thomas Pynchon (author of _Gravity's Rainbow_ and _V.) with his coruscating run-on sentences, only a lot more whimsically upbeat (and less obscure), mixed with Chuck Palahniuk's _Fight Club_. Slattery moves us into and out of character's histories, within and without geographic locations and back and forth in time. The influence of Slattery's musical background is evident; music and happy gatherings of people are spread throughout the novel. His unusual characters with their wild backgrounds wander in and out of fantastic situations: Wendell Apogee searches desperately for his well-connected, dangerously charismatic, mysteriously missing partner Manuel Rodrigo de Guzman Gonzalez; Lucas Henderson, unemotional survivor of a childhood cult, hunts down another: the "Church of Panic"; Diane, loved by four short Ecuadorian soccer-playing Kennedy Airport maintenance men, seeks after the heart of Lucas; Robert Lord Townshend Jr., heir to family fortunes, in turn courts Ma Xioa Ling, beautiful refugee from China, who ignores his attentions; Detectives Salmon and Trout's investigation of Gonzalez's disappearance sends them after Wendell and Masoud, a former Lebanese jet pilot who deals with memories of abandoning his brother by teaming up with Wendell to keep him safe from the authorities and much, much worse. And the Pan-Galactic Groove Squad tumbles through windows and into the streets to set people dancing with their rousing music, while ominous intimations of impending doom gather.Read more ›
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