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FOOP! Paperback – April, 2005
From the Inside Flap
"Foop! is a surreal pie in the face." - CHRISTOPHER MOORE, bestselling author of Fluke and Lamb
"Genoa's first novel is a seriocomic romp through time and space as his hero tries to save the world from losing both its future and past. A procession of oddball characters, including a blind monkey and a quirky pair called Boogedy and Nibbles, adds to the humor in this tale of a reluctant hero and his call to duty." - LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Wild, fearless and wickedly clever, Foop! fireballs through time and space to find a future that is as absurd as it is heartbreaking. The more you read of Chris Genoa, the more you realize he's not content with just tickling your imagination along with your funny bone--gosh darn it if he isn't also making a play for your soul. Wonderfully dark. A terrific read. An inspired debut." - NICK SAGAN, author of Edenborn and Idlewild
"Chris Genoa is one of our authentic literary lunatics, and the irrepressible Foop! offers irrefutable proof of his salutary madness. When they lock Genoa away in the booby-hatch, I hope they give him lots of pens and plenty of paper." - JAMES MORROW, World Fantasy Award-Winning author of Towing Jehovah and Blameless in Abaddon
"For some reason, more and more young writers are producing dystopian novels. Chris Genoa rides the quest of this wave with weird humor, great characters, and descriptions of time travel so accurate that you'd think he's actually traveled through time. Well? Have you, Chris?" - NEAL POLLACK, author of The Neal Pollack Anthology Of American Literature and Never Mind The Pollacks
"Chris Genoa's Foop! is a superbly surreal and wickedly wry rollick through the space-time continuum. With a talent for hyperbole reminiscient of the late Douglas Adams, Genoa stretches surreality to its snapping point and succeeds in delivering a hilarious debut novel." - TONY VIGORITO, author of Just a Couple of Days
"I must say this was the weirdest book I have ever read...The whole book is just crazy, bizarre, at times insane, but it is definitely something I couldn't put down...By the end of the book, I was wondering what paths I have chosen and how my choices have affected others...a definite must read." - SFFWORLD.COM
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It seems that quite a few people are coming to this book through Christopher Moore, who blurbed Foop! on the front cover. I'm not a fan of Moore at all so I can't compare Genoa's writing to Moore's, but there's really no need to do that anyway. Like any book Foop! should be looked at on its own.
The book begins with a first chapter that is possibly the funniest opening chapter I've ever read. You can read it on Amazon through the Search Inside function. The reader is immediately thrown into the bizarre life and mind of Joe, a time travelling tour guide in the not too distant future. To sum up the plot, Joe is given an assignment to find out who has been travelling back in time and torturing younger versions of his boss in very odd ways.
Normally when the idea of "time travel" comes up people automatically expect they are in for a traditional science fiction novel. But Foop! is anything but that, and readers expecting such might be disappointed. There isn't much that's traditional about this book at all. In fact Chris Genoa and his publisher, Eraserhead Press, have aligned themselves with a literary movement calling itself Bizarro. That right there should tell you what you're in for. While this isn't experimental or hard to follow writing, Genoa doesn't reign in his overactive imagination at all when it comes to the characters he chooses to introduce--such as a blind monkey with a lasso--or their often insane actions.
Foop! does have a traditional three part structure, with Parts 1 and 3 being the strongest. Part 2, when Joe retreats to his apartment, does drag a little and could have used some more editing, but Genoa tends to throw enough humor at the reader to make up for this and get you to Part 3 which is excellent.
This book was cearly written by someone of the MTV generation, or generation X, and it will most likely appeal to readers younger than 40. I also suspect that like writers such as Chuck Palahniuk, Genoa will appeal more to men than women, but I could be wrong since there are a bunch of positive Foop! reviews on here from women. The dialogue is rapid-fire, the humor absurd and sometimes scatalogical, many of the characters are cartoonish, there is plenty of satirical social commentary, and the ending is uncompromisingly bleak.
I recommend this book for people who don't get easily offended by off-color humor--hint: if you think South Park is nothing but dumb humor, you won't like Foop!--for fans of the cartoonish surrealism of Terry Gilliam, and for people who don't mind a little bizarre chaos in their bedtime reading.
Read this book if you like crazy as hell type humor dished out by a guy who can write like a stud.
Foop and Fear & Loathing are also extremely funny and each had me laughing a lot, mainly because the first-person narration is great in both. But they're also sad stories at the same time since the characters in both never find the dreams they're searching for.
So if you like reading about characters who go on weird, wild journeys, you'll probably really like Foop!
This isn't the kind of book I'd lend to my mom because I don't think she'd get it. I also wouldn't lend it to any of my sci-fi loving friends because they would REALLY hate it. It's way too nontraditional for them. It's more for people who like dark, weird stuff that's funny and sad at the same time, with a good touch of hilarious randomness.
Not being someone who reads much "weird fiction," I didn't know what to think when I started reading Foop! The narrator is such a bizarre man, with his inability to connect with anyone or anything around him and his frequent odd rants on everything from coffee vs. booze to worrying about a ghost going to the bathroom in his apartment. I must say, this is the sort of book I will only tell a select few of my friends about because I don't want some of them to know I enjoyed something so perplexingly insane.
It's a modern time travel story that focuses more on the inner workings of a man who has become lost and set-adrift in a very impersonal world. If you've ever felt lonley and desperate for human contact, this book may be for you. That sounds despressing, but there's so much silliness and insanity going on that you don't realize how sad it all is until the end, which is not a very happy one.
This is a fine debut for a young man who could develop into quite an extraordinary author. Hopefully he will team up with a more talented editor next time around, because if he does the sky is the limit.