The Good and the Ghastly: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$19.79
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $5.21 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
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

The Good and the Ghastly: A Novel Hardcover – June 14, 2011


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$19.79
$0.12 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Frequently Bought Together

The Good and the Ghastly: A Novel + The Sisters Brothers: A Novel
Price for both: $38.94

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
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.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416575448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416575443
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,775,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Finding James Boice has been a revelation for me. His hard-bitten prose flies off the page at you like the cracking of a machine gun, and he infuses this violent, gritty and fast-paced novel with enough subtle satire and unexpected weirdness to keep you riveted right until you flip the final page.”—Tony O’Neill, author of Sick City and Neon Angel

“Bloody and bloody funny, James Boice’s at once coolly objective and deeply human writing does the dystopian novel like no other. The Good and the Ghastly reads like Cormac McCarthy executing a Kurt Vonnegut premise through a Joan Didion filter. An original, in other words.”—Andrew Pyper, author of Lost Girls and The Killing Circle

“James Boice brings the prose as hard as his characters bring the fierce in this post-apocalyptic battle story. A true original, Boice knocks it out of the park again.”—Elizabeth Crane, author of You Must Be This Happy To Enter

“James Boice’s sentences crack like hot electric bullwhips across the backs of America’s demons. By head-spinning turns arresting, violent, outraged, pointilistically detailed, tender and gut-busting hilarious, The Good and the Ghastly dances across a dystopian future in a mash-up of genre hooliganism and the inventive glee of literary madness. A page-turning adventure like none you’ve ever taken.” —Christopher Ransom, author of The Birthing House and The People Next Door

The Good and the Ghastly is the hallucinogenic fever dream of contemporary satire. Alternately brutal and lyrical, it field-dresses everyday being with poetic violence. A decidedly necessary addition to post-millennial literature.”—Darin Bradley, author of Noise

“Boice’s book is like a literary Magic 8-Ball. Ask it questions, shake it up, and watch the novel’s playful, hilarious, and terrifying hallucination of our future. From one smuck-up to another, you’ll be hooked by the beautiful beating heart propelling this romp’s incredible energy.”—Joshua Mohr, author of Termite Parade

“James Boice’s tale of the fearsome future—and the life of a sadistic striver named Junior Alvarez—is harrowing, heinous, and brilliantly imagined. Boice writes with jagged energy and a rollicking dark wit. From the opening lines, his story pulls like a train.”—Lew McCreary, author of The Minus Man

From the Author

Thanks for reading,
 
James Boice
New York

More About the Author

James Boice wrote the novels The Good and the Ghastly, NoVA and MVP. His work has been in Esquire, McSweeney's, Fiction, Salt Hill, and other publications. He grew up in Northern Virginia and has lived in Boston and New York. See JamesBoice.com

Customer Reviews

Thank god Visa is there to hold everything together.
JC
Fortunately, I was able to ask the good people in my book club if I missed the redemption, the payoff, or the point, and it was unanimously agreed that I did not.
FearsomeKitty
Had never heard of this author before finding "The Good and the Ghastly" at the library.
Zachary Cole

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JC on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Usually when someone contacts me via email about reading their book, they give me a description of it and I say sure, send it, or no that's not for me. And usually, if the description includes a phrase like "gangster noir epic set a thousand years into the future." I'll pass because, well, that's just not for me, in most cases. Usually, the name on the book is not James Boice. I said it once, when I reviewed NoVA, and I'll repeat it here: I don't know why this guy doesn't get more attention.

The Good and the Ghastly is as described in that email. Set in 3348, after the war and the nuclear destruction, after 1000 years of crawling back to a time that reflects our own. Bits of ancient history seep through the years - the great leaders and artists who stand tall throughout the centuries - Alexander the Great, Bob Dylan, Sarah Palin. Thank god Visa is there to hold everything together.

Junior Alvarez grows up in the fractured gangland of Visa NoVA with a God complex, a bad temper, and a will to act violently and decisively against his foes. In a massive teenage gangfight, he beats a boy to death, and the boy's mother starts a never-ending campaign against Junior - first through legal means, and the via a systematic vigilante attack on the gang system.

Junior is the real story here, though. He rises from an anger-fueled street thug, unwelcome (frustratingly so for JR) through the front door of the highest establishments, to a meticulously organized lieutenant masquerading as a community benefactor, to mob boss, sometimes through deception and sometimes through violence. It's a rise familiar to the modern reader or filmgoer - think The Departed, or Heat, or Billy Bathgate with something of a steampunk sensiblity.

Junior is a great character.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By r_duke on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastically dark and violent book but also a biting satire. We follow a young man named Junior Alvarez as he makes his way from ordinary street thug to rising gangster but this felt more like 'American Psycho' crossed with a sci-fi story than anything else. While the tropes of the gangster book/film are all here, Boice manages to carve out something fresh and unique by setting it in the future during a time when humanity has rebuilt itself following the last great wars. It's the 34th Century and man has rebuilt itself from the rubble of the last large scale wars. Unfortunately many of the facts of this new world are backwards and based on hilarious innacurracies of history, a result of losing the world's knowledge and having to rebuild society based on oral histories. Much of the comedy is derived from the societal norms and I loved the passages that talked about how the 34th century people looked back at our 21st century civilization, getting many of the facts wrong in the process. I laughed out loud at the blatant misquotes and facts that the main character attributes to current celebrities and the way our history is looked at by these folks. This book is a biting social satire and there's plenty to analyze. Some people may be turned off by the sci-fi nature of this book and the violence but I'd highly recommend that you give it a chance. Fans of Chuck Palahniuk, Cormac McCarthy and Brett Easton Ellis will find a lot to love in this epic sci-fi gangster novel - a great read!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It took centuries but the world has somewhat recovered from the global nuclear war. Now the thirty-fourth century has caught up to life in the early twenty-first century though there are some differences; for instance history and science texts praise Sarah Palin for her theory of natural selection and deer is the pet of choice.

However, in spite of the heritage of mass destruction wars back in the twentieth and twenty-first, hate remains a viable option. While VISA owns the world now as it did then, Adoranso Horater pushes for the final solution as he blames the Jews for the nuclear holocaust. At the same time Alvarez rules the mobs with an iron fist, a victim's mother stalks and murders gangster and human sacrifices to the statue of the cat God Garfield is practiced. Soon the former Good and the forever Ghastly will confront one another.

The Good and the Ghastly is an engaging satire that rips into twenty first century values by extrapolating how the future will look at this era of phony hypocritical compassion. The story line is overall fun but the mocking of present day decisions by sound bites keeps the plot thin. Still readers who relish thought provoking lampooning will want to read the thirty-fourth century equivalent to Bill Mahler' "New Rules" interpretation of Palinism.

Harriet Klausner
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CT Yankee on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of James Boice's novels and short stories, and The Good and the Ghastly is his best work yet. The characters are fascinating and the plot intense. It is THE summer read for 2011 - I suggest that you put it at the top of your list! You have never read another book like it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By JRubino on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I could barely get through the first 60 pages of this nonsense. It was simply one of those books whose main character irritated me to no end: his annoying, cocky, juvenile, and tone-deaf narrative was impossible to endure. Add to that, the plot was flat no matter how much nonsense the writer tried to shoehorn in.

Oh, I understand how some might enjoy the hectic pace and style. Just not me. I found it simply unreadable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?