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Spaceman Blues: A Love Song Hardcover – August 7, 2007
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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From Publishers Weekly
Editor/writer/musician Slattery's chaotic debut takes readers on a headlong trip to the end of the world. Manuel González, a legendary New York City party animal, has disappeared and his apartment has exploded, leaving behind only the memories of his thousands of friends and enemies. His lover, Wendell Apogee, is determined to find out what happened. So are police inspectors Herman Trout and Lenny Salmon, who uncover a web of bizarre characters, from Lucas Henderson, former Lunar Temple cult member, and Arturo El Flaco Domínguez, González's worst enemy, to a washed-up '80s pop band the Marsupials. As Wendell tracks González through Darktown, the place where you find lost things, the prophecies of the apocalyptic Church of Panic begin coming true: aliens threaten to invade Earth, and Wendell must become superhero Captain Spaceman and save the planet. The story itself doesn't make much sense, but Slattery has a grand time showing off the colorful underground culture of cockfights, raves and endless intoxication that keeps things moving in his hallucinatory vision of New York. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Manuel Rodrigo de Guzmán González disappears, his apartment is consumed by an explosion, and most of the city mourns as though he's dead. The police aren't convinced, and after they question Wendell Apogee, Wendell decides to find out for himself. He doesn't foresee the madhouse things he then proceeds to doasking questions during a cockfight that gets raided, finding an apocalyptic cult based on valid scientific evidence, going to an underground city in which the best bar is a train car hung from a cavern ceiling. He is changed forever. When aliens come for him wielding weapons from Manuel's apartment, Wendell has to shake up his ordinary life and become someone able to fight such seemingly unstoppable foes. And, wouldn't you know it, the aliens are just forerunners of something bigger and far more devastating than anyone suspectedanyone, that is, except a few who stumbled on certain evidence and created an apocalyptic cult. Spaceman Blues is a mad ride related by a pulp sensibility filtered through the nonstop freneticism of New York's subcultures, real and imagined. Schroeder, Regina
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot focuses around Manuel Rodrigo de Guzman Gonzalez, who I kept picturing as being a bit like the World's Most Interesting Man from those Dos Equis commercials. At the beginning of the novel, Manuel has disappeared, and actually the reader will mostly learn what Manuel is like through flashbacks and inferences. Manuel was a man with his finger in many pies and who touched many lives, none more so than Wendell Apogee.
"Apogee" is an appropriate surname for Wendell as his whole life orbits around Manuel, and without his center of gravity, he's been cast adrift. While others have been able to move on, Wendell can't, and goes on a quest to find his one-time lover. In the process, he will visit strange people and go to exotic places, most particularly another whole city that exists beneath New York. In the process, he will be transformed into the heroic Captain Spaceman, the only hope against the viciously super-powered Four Horsemen. It all somehow ties into aliens and a doomsday cult.
Amazingly, Slattery is able to tie all the loose ends together. Spaceman Blues is a wild ride, one that is fun and often funny, but one that may be a bit more sensation than real substance. With his distinctive style, off-beat characters and weird situations (also seen in his second novel, Liberation), Slattery has composed a unique novel, one that is enjoyable as much for its oddness as actual writing skill.
Something the characters in this fantastic novel have in common is their quest for something: Wendell and his lonely search for Manuel; Lucas and his church; Diane for Lucas' love; Robert for Ma Xioa's heart; Salmon and Trout for answers and Masoud for redemption. As their world tumbles around them, they come to terms with the unusual, the unexpected, the guileless and innocent ideas which rigid training and adult experiences have turned them away from, and which now may save them. _Spaceman Blues_ is about coming to believe in the power of the abstract, the intuitive, the magical. It sweeps you away on a magic carpet ride. I loved this novel. Readers of Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury and J.K.Rowling, or anyone who enjoyed fables growing up, will love it as well.
This book is good stuff and if it signals a trend in the genre then I am officially stoked about our reading futures.
Even getting it at the rock-bottom price of $1.31 from Amazon after reading about it in a forum thread, I thought it would be worthwhile, but even with its short length (glorified novella) I find that my time would have been better spent watching Syfy original presentations. At least I would have gotten a laugh out of how terrible they are... this book couldn't even manage that.