Count Geiger's Blues

Count Geiger's Blues

by Michael Bishop
     
 
Count Geiger's Blues follows the adventures of Xavier Thaxton, arts editor at a major Southern daily called the Salonika Urbanite. Thaxton thinks himself a superior man. His aesthetic standards are so lofty that he regards superheroes as pop-culture cock-and-bull, rock music as audible rubbish, and soap operas as the contemptible spew of script-writing

Overview

Count Geiger's Blues follows the adventures of Xavier Thaxton, arts editor at a major Southern daily called the Salonika Urbanite. Thaxton thinks himself a superior man. His aesthetic standards are so lofty that he regards superheroes as pop-culture cock-and-bull, rock music as audible rubbish, and soap operas as the contemptible spew of script-writing committees.
While skinny-dipping in a pool polluted with radioactive waste, Thaxton is afflicted with superpowers all his own and becomes that which he most scorns. A radiation-induced ailment, the Philistine Syndrome, forces him to assume the persona of comic-book hero Count Geiger to allay its career- and indeed life-threatening symptoms.
Michael Bishop's Count Geiger Blues, a novel of intellectual heft and self-spoofing kitsch, is a take on superheroes like no other: a rollicking foray into high and low culture that mines the vicissitudes and tragedies of everyday life for serious belly laughs and bona fide heartbreak.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Xavier Thaxton, erudite fine arts editor at a great metropolitan newspaper, views himself as a ``superior'' man. Then he is exposed to radiation that endows him with powers far beyond those of mere mortals. Adopting the name and costume of a popular new comic-book superhero, he becomes Count Geiger; his exploits include saving women from muggings, stopping a particularly exploitative exercise at a local strip joint and generally inspiring all and sundry--until he starts to die of radiation poisoning. Nebula Award winner Bishop ( No Enemy but Time ) sets this amusing super-hero sendup in the fictional city of Salonika, capital of the southeastern state of Oconee (no doubt on the same map as the famed comic-book locales Gotham City, Metropolis and Central City). The plot is developed in leisurely fashion; Thaxton does not don the Geiger identity until the novel's midpoint. His efforts are dedicated to reforming criminals and bettering humanity's lot. Along the way Bishop finds time to criticize nuclear power plants, making his story politically correct as well as entertaining. (July)
Library Journal
Costumed comic book heroes, fast foods, and heavy metal music represent the ultimate in bad taste for fine arts critic Xavier Thaxton. Then an unhappy coincidence transforms him into his ``worst nightmare '' in this masterpiece of speculative fiction by the author of The Secret Ascension . Bishop consistently grapples with significant issues in his novels, and Thaxton's struggle to redefine his values while at war with his body is no exception. Whether viewed as modern parable, cautionary tale, or splendid satire, this is a top-notch addition to any library's sf or general fiction collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312890087
Publisher:
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
06/28/1994
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.21(h) x 0.97(d)

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