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Go, Mutants!: A Novel Hardcover – June 22, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Go, Mutants!Larry Doyle. Ecco, $23.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-168655-9Humor writer Doyle (I Love You, Beth Cooper) walks a razor's edge between dumb and clever and falls onto both sides repeatedly in this parody that imagines a world in which the aliens from 1950s sci-fi movies have actually arrived on earth and integrated into human society. J!m Anderson is the son of a leader of an alien invasion who was presumed impaled on the Washington monument and an alluring cat woman currently working as a cocktail waitress. As a teen alien, J!m is mercilessly teased at school and tormented by his cross-species love for Marie Rand, the daughter of mad scientist Dr. Howard Rand, who keeps his wife's severed head alive in a pan of fluid. You get the idea. Throughout the novel, an encyclopedic knowledge of monster movies is on display, and most of the greats, including a King Kong–like giant ape (whose half-human son, Johnny, is J!m's best friend) are referenced. Doyle's style is to throw jokes and hope something sticks, and while there's much cleverness, the overall effect can be manic. This will be best appreciated by a select and nostalgic readership, preferably those who can catalogue Godzilla's many opponents. (June)
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From Booklist

Doyle's love of teen movies was giddily evident in I Love You, Beth Cooper (2007). But it seems there's another genre he loves even more: the sci-fi shockers of the 1950s and '60s. This frenetic satire combines flying saucers, hideous mutants, and all other manner of drive-in fare with the high-school ennui of something like Rebel without a Cause. It has been 20 years since the aliens landed in 1951, and 17-year-old J!m (don't bother trying to pronounce it) is, aside from his blue skin and brain-enlarged cranium, your quintessential teen loner. With his pal Johnny, an atomic ape, and their tagalong buddy Jelly, a pile of gelatinous goo, they outsmart human bullies and try to make out with chicks. (Though the chicks are understandably unnerved by interspecies sex-ed films—if you thought getting pregnant was bad, try getting eggs laid in your brain.) Every sentence careens with energy, wisecracks, and winks at everything from triffids to Altair IV. Shades of the Red scare and allegories about puberty abound, too, but thankfully, gooey atomic mayhem wins the day. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061686557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061686559
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,148,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
J!m Anderson understands you cannot pick your parents, but wonders how far out can you get. His father led a failed alien invasion before allegedly being nailed on the Washington Monument. His mother was a siren cat woman, who earns a living as a sexy cocktail waitress.

Growing up as a hybrid outsider, J!m fell in love Marie Rand in high school. Her roots are not much better though she is a purebred human. Her dad is a mad scientist Dr. Howard Rand and her mother lost her head, which floats in a pan filled with fluid that EPA would condemn but her dad worships.

This is an entertaining over the top of the Empire State Building, Washington Monument and a few other stratospheric locales that presume the stars of 1950s science fiction and horror movies are real. Loaded with movie information and amusing satire, the offspring horde of monsters, aliens and evil attend high school. Although the plot is thinner than a B-movie, fans will enjoy this amusing homage to the height of the Cold War paranoia that hooked Hollywood in the Eisenhower Era.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great, mad yarn, that I found referenced on the TV tropes forum "the weirdest books ever"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=12953694500A97542300&page=1

It's kind of like if you had thrown Holden Caulfield into Grease, except Holden in this case is an alien by the name of J!m (but everybody just calls him Jim). Light-hearted Dark Suspenseful Nostalgic SF Fun...and then it gets weird - and obviously I tend to think that weird is good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You will love these alien characters--they'll remind you of everyone you knew in high school! And although the story is about high school and aliens and a future where Howard Hughes is president, the story is actually moving and sweet. Fans of Larry Doyle's work will surely love this book.
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I bought this book because I really loved the last book by this author, I Love You Beth Cooper. While this book is very different in setting, the part that remains the same is that Larry Doyle has a way to connect with the thoughts, fears and hopes of teenagers with subtle observations and hilarious lines. Thoughtful readers will enjoy the many layers of this book. On the surface it is a funny and fun summer read, but there are deeper themes that can make you think about and question our society and our history. I appreciated the fact that the author did not "talk down" to his readers and it was thoroughly creative. Fans of horror movies from the 50's and science fiction will especially love it.
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And because I enjoyed "I Love You, Beth Cooper" so much, I pre-ordered "Go, Mutants!" I was not disappointed. This book makes me want to be more of a sci-fi, 1950s b-movie geek than I am. Like ILYBC, most of my favorite moments are the almost parenthetical, observational lines where Doyle just nails some aspect of American teendom. Great summer read. The guy crammed into the seat next to you on the plane will wonder what you are laughing about.
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I loved, loved, loved and adored Larry Doyle's I Love You, Beth Cooper. It made me laugh and cringe, and it was all my favorite parts of 80's movies rolled into novel form. So I was excited to see Go, Mutants!, and was quick to download it onto my Kindle. Unlike Beth Cooper though, Go, Mutants! is not as page turn worthy at Doyle's first book.

Part of the fault lies in me, Go, Mutants! is a much better read if you read it from cover to cover and don't cheat on it with other books or put it away for several months. There's a lot of sci-fi terms made up by Doyle, which really bogged down the flow of the story for me. At the heart of Mutants is simple teenage love story we can all relate to. J!m is an awkward teen going through the grossness of puberty, in love with his friend Marie, but afraid to tell her how he feels. And just like Ron screwed things up with Hermione at the Yule Ball, J!m misses his opportunity to ask Marie to the school dance despite the fact that she gave him hints big enough to be seen from space.

Once I got into the book the writing and sci-fi-iness of it all got easier to read, and by the end I was quite invested in the characters. I loved Johnny- how cool would it be to have a blue ape boy as you best friend, capable of not only going all King Kong on your enemy's hiney, but also able to belt out great music? Like in I Love You, Beth Cooper, which paid homage to every John Hughes movie ever made, Go, Mutants! is a walk down the 1950's memory lane, although history is a bit altered by aliens influence. Instead of Elvis Presley, there's the Presley Brothers, Kennedy is still alive, and all the cool advances the Jetson's cartoon promised us as kids is realized.
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Format: Hardcover
"Mutants, GO!" is the signature phrase of the X-men, but this novel is distinctly it's own voice. The title does serve to tap into the same niche the X-men comics appeal to. That's why I became interested enough to read it.

Doyle tells an interesting story of modernized mutants, when the world diverged in 1951 with benevolent alien contact. Stuff like hacking programmed trees to whisper cheap come-ons, a dis-integrator for a garbage disposal, and flying cars are commonplace. 'People' are characters from B-movies -- Johnny the ape-man, the blob, the mantis-lady, and J!m himself, the son of the alien who both saved and betrayed. Meanwhile in the daily news, giant monsters (kaiju) like Gojira and Godzilla both attack and protect cities.

The problem with the novel lies in the formatting. It's written like a screen play with distinct scenes and huge fonted sound effects. Sometimes it works well for conveying J!m's teenage angst, but interrupts the story flow to be overly dramatic. It also inflates the page count. I'd say 'Go, Mutants!' is around 60,000 words, which is less story than you normally get in hardcover.

The plotline is both touching in an 'awkward teenager coming to terms with himself and the world' sense and max B-movie drama (if this was the book itself, 'flash of lightning' would be written in 60 font right here, mid-paragraph) with mad science and a mutated cast. For being a super-genius! the main character J!m isn't very good socially, and has a major chip on his shoulder from his father's legacy. The story itself was decent sci-fi when it wasn't trying to be outrageous, but it is obvious this book is intended to be a movie and not a novel.
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