Bombshell: A Novel

Overview


Bombshell is a feminist nuclear thriller set twenty-five years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, in which an alienated young Russian woman born in its shadow undertakes a road trip across the U.S., waging a guerrilla war against the nuclear industry and leaving in her wake a trail of destruction and assassinations. Obsessed with would-be Warhol assassin Valerie Solanas, Varyushka Cash recreates her atomic past through escalating violence and her one true goal: an assault on the Indian Point nuclear plant on the...
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Bombshell: A Novel

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Overview


Bombshell is a feminist nuclear thriller set twenty-five years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, in which an alienated young Russian woman born in its shadow undertakes a road trip across the U.S., waging a guerrilla war against the nuclear industry and leaving in her wake a trail of destruction and assassinations. Obsessed with would-be Warhol assassin Valerie Solanas, Varyushka Cash recreates her atomic past through escalating violence and her one true goal: an assault on the Indian Point nuclear plant on the bank of the Hudson River. All along she is relentlessly pursued by the CIA, eager to capture Varyushka on charges of domestic terrorism. The cat-and-mouse chase leads to a final showdown in a decimated and irradiated New York, there on the cusp of a frightening new future.

The initial draft of Bombshell was completed five months before the Fukushima catastrophe, written from the author’s morbid suspicion that the twenty-fifth anniversary of catastrophe at Chernobyl, Pripyat, and beyond would be marked by an echo in the present, shadowed by the real threat present in our unguarded and deteriorating nuclear facilities. Bombshell is a combustible and commercial step forward by one of our most creative and intellectual writers today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this counterculture tale of revenge from Reich (I, Judas), Varyushka Cash, former stripper and member of a now-disbanded radical feminist gang, is dying from thyroid cancer—a result of her having been exposed as a child to fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hell-bent on sending a powerful message about the evil of nuclear technology to the world, Cash blows up the monument that marks the Trinity bombsite, where the first atom bomb was detonated in the New Mexico desert. After fleeing to her present home of Madrid, N.Mex., Cash runs into Molly Pinkerton, a misunderstood post-op transsexual who lends Cash her car. As Cash heads for the Indian Point nuclear facility in New York, Robert Dresner, a CIA agent with deep sadomasochist urges, follows in desperate pursuit. Readers won’t find much in the way of character development, and the twist that brings about the final confrontation between Dresner and Cash is unbelievable. Agent: Will Lippincott, Lippincott & Massie. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for Bombshell

“Reich's novel is chock full of explosive ideas conveyed with radioactive prose. His heroine Varyuska Cash makes Lisbeth Salander look like a dimwitted Mary Poppins. This is dangerous fiction - handle with extreme caution.” —Isaac Adamson, Edgar Award Finalist, Complication

"The feminist heroine is a fresh twist on the thriller genre." —Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
A feminist activist, born in the midst of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, initiates a series of systematic strikes against the American nuclear industry. Set in 2011, Reich's (I, Judas, 2011) thriller introduces the protagonist: Varyushka Cash, a 25-year-old extremist whose personal crusade against nuclear energy is fueled by punk rock, a strict adherence to feminist ideology and a disdain for symbols of masculinity. After her parents disappear in a murky series of events following the tragedy at Chernobyl, Cash is taken in by three older women who offer her a family structure that is fused with an indoctrination into feminist thought. As this loose-knit family falls into disarray, Cash forms a lesbian relationship with one of the women. After losing her partner, Cash heads to the New Mexico desert, where she reflects on her past and plans her mission. Taking a Vietnam veteran who has undergone extensive gender reassignment surgery as her only friend, Cash uses rural New Mexico as her home base for beginning to target nuclear sites and the high-powered executives driving the nuclear industry. In the process, she begins a cross-country spree of violence that takes her simultaneously into an imagined past and an unforeseen future. Along the way, Cash is pursued by an amoral CIA hit squad led by an unflinching, and somewhat one-dimensional, veteran of covert affairs who represents the paradigm of masculine forcefulness. The feminist heroine is a fresh twist on the thriller genre, but the story doesn't deliver much excitement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593765132
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,432,002
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


James Reich is a writer and co-founder of the post-punk band Venus Bogardus. He was born in England and relocated to New Mexico in 2009. He is currently a contributing faculty member at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He is the author of I, Judas.
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