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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits: A Novel Hardcover – October 6, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 403 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

In this laugh-out-loud adventure complete with superhero costumes and a cat named Stench Machine, Zoey Ashe discovers that she has inherited billions from her deadbeat dad. Unfortunately, the sudden windfall means that the entire city of Tabula Rosa (think of a tackier, more sinful Las Vegas multiplied by 10) is out to capture her to control her money and her inherited weapons. Zoey may have just been a curvy barista living in a trailer park, but she is her father's child-she's smart, a bit conniving, and a threat to her enemies. She's ready to take on Molech and his biologically enhanced minions, especially after they kidnap her mother from the strip club. This hilarious novel is perfect for students who are ready to move from Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart (Delacorte, 2013) and on to something more like Matt Ruff's Alex Award-winning title Bad Monkeys (Harper, 2007). Wong (a pseudonym of Jason Pargin) is a comedic writer at Cracked.com, as well as the author of John Dies at the End (2009) and This Book Is Full of Spiders (2012, both St. Martin's). Readers can't help but snicker-Zoey is snarky, and a serial killer and chili farts are mentioned in the opening pages. Just as in a box office hit, the action is nonstop, the humor is crude (the book's back cover features a picture of a robotic middle finger), and the plucky female main character saves the day. VERDICT Give to mature young adults who appreciate wit and crude humor.-Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"With verve and velocity, the story moves...one cinematic set piece after another, strung together with twisty fun and wit." - The New York Times Book Review

"Cracked.com executive editor Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders) unabashedly trolls everyone and lampoons everything in this beautifully outrageous science fiction adventure...Biting humor and blatant digs at modern society overlay a subtly brilliant and thoughtful plot focused on one young woman’s growth and survival against all odds." - PW, starred review

"All right, grab some popcorn and strap in. We're in for another profane and funny roller-coaster ride from Wong...Some of the sci-fi elements are comic book–y and the humor is as juvenile as ever, but the book more than makes up for any shortcomings with its Technicolor tomorrowland, mischievous humor, and frenetic action sequences." - Kirkus Reviews

"Well-timed humor and explosive thrills, a smart backbone, and witty wordsmithing make this new release by Cracked.com’s pseudonym-wielding Jason Pargin (John Dies at the End, 2009) as fun as it gets. Steer this one toward readers of sf with a sense of humor, and fans of Max Barry’s satirical futuristic novels." - Booklist, starred review

"Wong has proven himself a master of both the hilarious and the horrifying, and this newest work aims his brilliantly cynical comedy style at a possible future for our society...Wong is a keen observer of the human condition, and is able to translate that into an apt, and often snarky, prediction for society’s trajectory...Like Jonathan Swift for the internet age, Wong’s novel offers an engrossing journey and razor-sharp wit inside of an uncanny prediction of an American future. His humor ranges anywhere from blatantly poking fun at our world to more subtle aspects of life that one would not even think of until pointed out. Wong’s capability as an author has steadily matured since he won cult status with John Dies at the End in 2007, and his newest is only more proof that he will be remembered as one of today’s great satirists." - Nerdist

"With plenty of unexpected twists and turns along the way, you'll almost be sure that you forgot to plug your blink feed in, as we face even more perils than Zoey Ashe could have dreamt of, and that's just the holographic Christmas decorations. A sofa clutching read from beginning to end, and a great look at the constantly growing world of social networking." - Starbust, 9 out of 10 stars

“David Wong’s writing style is a great mix of Tom Robbins meets Philip K. Dick. You could throw in some Christopher Moore as well. Wong’s sense of comedic timing is honed to perfection from his time spent as Executive Editor at Cracked.com. He has his finger on the pulse of popular culture, current trends, and how quickly both can become absurd and take civilization to places that it should not go...Fast, fun, brutal, hilarious, and quite thought provoking, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is highly entertaining and well worth every page turn. Whether a reader is familiar with Wong’s work or not, this novel is indicative of the writer’s talent for mixing wit and violence." - NY Review of Books


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250040191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250040190
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zhimbo VINE VOICE on August 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A really terrific read. Maybe not quite a 5 star book but 4 feels too low.

Readers of John Dies At The End (or its sequel) will certainly recognize Wong's style here, but this book is really quite different, in setting and in structure. While JDATE was a contemporary horror-comedy with a gangly, tangent-filled structure, this is a near-future thriller with a tight, linear, fast-paced plot. This isn't necessarily better - I quite liked the anything-goes weirdness of JDATE - but it certainly feels more developed and mature (in the sense of honing one's craft).

The book follows a protagonist, Zoey Ashe, who is suddenly transported from a poor, unglamorous, trailer-park existence into the world of her recently deceased estranged biological father - a billionaire power-elite who is at the center of some very bizarre and very dangerous dealings that Zoey suddenly needs to deal with herself. Needless to say, life in the trailer park with her stripper mother hasn't prepared her very well for the task, and Wong gets a huge amount of both humor and drama from Zoey's fish-out-of-water situation; a poor young woman in a powerful rich man's world. Zoey is a great creation, although most other characters are presented as archetypes, albeit with hints of underlying complexity and humanity. I'll say that, occasionally, it felt like I was reading a movie pitch; this is custom made for the big screen, I think, with plenty of bits and scenes that would clearly *look* awesome and a pace and linearity that would be easy to adapt.

I should emphasize that, primarily, this is first and foremost a zingy, snarky, fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek thriller and a fun read.
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Boy I hope I clicked the right buttons up there. Newest book from David Wong, and this time it is a sci-fi comedy thriller I think. I'm terrible at genres. It takes place in the near future where social media is completely invasive and people have access to incredible technology. The bulk of the story takes place in a city called Tabula Ra$a where people with more money than sense have created a city free from laws where they can do anything they please. Buildings go up and come down constantly and the streets are filled with vendors for every food drink and drug you can imagine. Pretty sure someone was fighting a bear in the park in one scene.

Anyway, the writing is similar to Wong's other books, so if you enjoy them, you'll enjoy this. This isn't a John and Dave adventure, and isn't horror, but I would really enjoy seeing more of this world.
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This book is amazing. It is like binge watching Futurama while playing a hyper real video game full of violence and insanity. If that doesn't sound like your thing, I am sorry I can not fully explain the brilliant madness that is Wong's Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. I became obsessed with his writing while reading John Dies at the End (also fantastic) and the writing in his second novel still haunts me to this day (in a good way.) If you want a unique reading experience that will leave you so fulfilled and wishing there was so so much more, this is exactly what you should be buying. Do it now. Don't wait. Stop. Don't click away. You must read this. Your life probably depends on it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If David Wong's first two books can be described as "snarky horror," this one qualifies as "snarky science fiction," and it's a much tighter tale than his earlier work. The plot moves briskly, everything ties in beautifully and yet most of the plot twists are unpredictable. The book resembles William Gibson's recent The Peripheral in that it involves an impoverished young woman in the near future thrust into the dangerous world of the extremely rich, and relying on her own wits and the experience of various employees and agents of the upper classes to survive. Frankly, I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed The Peripheral, and I'm giving five stars with the following caveats:
1. Many of the earnest characters sound the same as each other, and many of the snarky characters sound the same as each other, and
2. The ending is a bit of deus ex machina.

Much of the development feels cinematic, and I bet this book is made into a movie. The main character would be played by Jennifer Lawrence, I think.
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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong is an insane, hilarious, fun ride. I'm not new to David Wong's sense of humor or knack for the strange storytelling, but this book caught me by surprise. I've come to know that Wong's humor is abrupt, childish, and satisfying (particularly when he sets a joke up in an early chapter, just to get to the punchline near the end of the story). I loved this book and here's why.

I have to start off by saying I really liked Will Blackwater. Not only is he a "dead-eyed robot" with a proclivity for intense bulls***ting, but he's smart, quick, clever, and an alcoholic with a love for suits. He's a ridiculous character, right down to his name, which is joked about in the book itself.

I also really liked Zoey Ashe. She was somehow relatable without actually being relatable to me personally AT ALL. She's an abuse survivor who wants nothing to do with her dead-beat father, has unconditional love for her kinda-effed-up mother, and her closest relationship is with her cat, who she named Stench Machine.

The other characters (the Suits: Echo, Budd, and Andre; Molech and his crew; the League of Badasses; etc.) are really interesting and fun characters also. I know there is no romance in the book, but I couldn't help picturing a Will/Zoey relationship, which made all their scenes together even better. Who cares if he's almost 20 years older than her? I pictured him younger.

The storyline is a big high point for me, also. The blurb's I've read for this book are extremely vague. I can't believe such a good story stems from such a bad blurb. Honestly. Zoey lives in the middle of nowhere with a minimum wage job and no idea what she's doing tomorrow, let alone with the rest of her life.
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