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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits: A Novel Paperback – October 4, 2016
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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." - Publishers Weekly, 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." - New York Journal of Books
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Top customer reviews
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. Unbeknownst to her, her no-show father has died and left all his "dirty" money (etc.) to her, making her a target to a bunch of bad people. I don't want to go into much more detail, but just know this was a wild ride, with a REAL plot; ignore the blurbs.
The setting of Tabula Ra$a is awesome in my opinion. A made-up futuristic city where the richest and poorest of people converge among technology we can't imagine? Sign me up. The Blink network that broadcasts everything everywhere all at once? Don't sign me up, but I will gladly read about it. The technology and the setting were A+ in my book. It was a character in itself.
I do happen to love the cover for this book, too, which kind of makes me feel like I'm a cover-lover.
David Wong's style of writing and humor was the main reason I bought this book. I'm familiar with John Dies at the End and This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It, and when I say "familiar," I mean that I love them. I practically grew up with JDATE, reading it back when it was only posted on the internet and not a tangible book to be purchased. There's something about Wong's style that makes me giddy and excited to read, happy to follow along these dysfunctional characters while they go on these ridiculous adventures.
I like that in the acknowledgements, which are very short and humorous and worth the read, that Wong mentions he's working on the third JDATE story and may come back to revisit Zoey and the Suits.
I dislike that I can't read the sequel right now. I also dislike the fact that there may never be a sequel, or that it may only come years from now. I'm eager to dive back in with these characters.
Whole-heartedly. I am a huge David Wong fan and I would recommend all three of his books to anyone who likes strange, funny stories with anti-heroes you grow to love.
The stupid robot asked me for the mood of the book. I really want to grab the robot and tell it that this isn't a multiple choice question. Like any good book, in my opinion, it has to be the right mood at the right time. That is one of the element's of Wong's latest book that I like the best. It can be stupid, tense, whimsical, thoughtful, and even wickedly funny.
One of the things I love about Wong's previous books was that they could be creepy and funny at the same time. FVAFS has the same vibe. Wong knows just when to make you laugh out loud, when to make you wonder, when to care, and when to say WTF? That's so cool.
Wong's previous books have been either entirely first person or partially first person. This book isn't, but it did give me the impression that the writer wasn't just writing the book, he was looking back at what happened and had some real f999ing opinions about it. I like that. Especially since the narrative voice can be wrong from time to time.
It's a great book. If you like Steven King and Kurt Vonnegut and Terry Pratchett and Ray Bradbury, you'll like this book. It's fun and insightful in unexpected ways.
- Interesting premise, rehashed but what isn't
- Cool characters (or rather the ideas for the characters are cool)
- Some humor
- Interesting world.
- The lead is so annoying I put the book down at 60%, she starts off well but is just too naive, altruistic, slow to adapt, and continually acts against her own best interests in blatantly stupid ways.
- The characters are poorly fleshed out; think 2D
- The middle is a little draggy and mostly about the lead acting self destructive or just dim.
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.
Still, the first fantastic part + already owning the John Dies at the End movie was enough to get me to immediately buy the author's other 2 books in hard cover and now John Dies at the End is my current bathroom book. It isn't gross, you know you have a book in the bathroom.. unless you are "magazine people". Ugh, magazine people.
The writer has a wonderful writing style and his detailing is delicious. It is like the best days of William Gibson, sprinkled with fun.
So if you want some good old fashioned cyber punk pick this up just be prepared for it to end in bad writing with such mechanisms as "Sudden onset retardation/genius".