First Contact, or, It's Later Than You Think
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First Contact, or, It's Later Than You Think

4.6 10
by Evan Mandery
     
 

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“What a hilarious ride—the übersurreal meets The Daily Show.”
 —Tim Dorsey, author of Nuclear Jellyfish

 

In the bestselling and rightfully cult-inspiring tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams comes First Contact—an hysterically funny satire about Presidential politics and intergalactic

Overview

“What a hilarious ride—the übersurreal meets The Daily Show.”
 —Tim Dorsey, author of Nuclear Jellyfish

 

In the bestselling and rightfully cult-inspiring tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams comes First Contact—an hysterically funny satire about Presidential politics and intergalactic misunderstanding. This smart and biting novel by Evan Mandery—an author equally well-versed in the lives of the U.S. presidents, existential philosophy, and the Simpsons—offers much food for intellectual thought along with an all-you-can-eat buffet of laughs, as it chronicles the first close encounters between earthlings and a vastly superior extraterrestrial race from Rigel-Rigel. As the subtitle of First Contact so presciently informs us, “It’s Later than You Think.”

Editorial Reviews

Tim Dorsey
“First Contact was love at first sight! What a hilarious ride - the uber surreal meets The Daily Show. I’m now staring at the cosmic calendar waiting for Mandery’s next contact.”
G. Xavier Robillard
“Very funny... Mandery’s gleefully chaotic narrative packs just the right punch as he weaves in heady inter-galactic topics of censorship, physics, and, yes, the PTA.”
Publishers Weekly
An alien invasion turns the United States, if not the world, upside down in this smart, witty romp—but not in the ways that extraterrestrial enthusiasts might expect. Ralph Bailey is working as a sandwich-fetching attaché to an inept president who assigns him to act as a liaison to the recently arrived aliens. As one of the few White House employees who seems to understand the Woody Allen–obsessed, generally laid-back visitors, Ralph begins to interrogate his existential angst: “I think everything has happened before,” he says to his girlfriend, Jessica Love (it's that kind of book), “...every grief has been endured, every idea has been explored, every joke has been told.” And in Mandery's world, it's certainly the truth. As we meet the intergalactic characters, we find that jokes, situations, prejudices, and even pets are the same no matter where you go. While coincidences add up and characters lives bleed into one another, Mandery's sharp sense of humor and habit of addressing the reader make for a stimulating and intelligent read that's never short on laughs. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Ralph Bailey, attaché to the President of the United States, has recently met his soul mate, found the perfect underwear for the President, and been appointed to establish diplomatic relations with the planet Rigel-Rigel. He is also 949th on the list of people who will succeed the President in case of a disaster. This hilarious scenario, complete with scenes of everyday life on Rigel-Rigel and ironic interjections from the narrator, works in service of the moral: it's later than you think, so do what makes your life most meaningful. Mandery's (Dreaming of Gwen Stefani) allegorical portraits of people, governments, life on other planets, and philosophy range from amusing to laugh-out-loud funny. VERDICT Recommended for those who enjoy comedic fiction.—Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061749773
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/26/2010
Pages:
267
Sales rank:
772,197
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

G. Xavier Robillard
“Very funny... Mandery’s gleefully chaotic narrative packs just the right punch as he weaves in heady inter-galactic topics of censorship, physics, and, yes, the PTA.”
Tim Dorsey
“First Contact was love at first sight! What a hilarious ride - the uber surreal meets The Daily Show. I’m now staring at the cosmic calendar waiting for Mandery’s next contact.”

Meet the Author

Evan Mandery is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, and the author of Dreaming of Gwen Stefani, First Contact, Q: A Novel, and two works of non-fiction.

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First Contact, or, It's Later Than You Think 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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The_Big_VO More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this off-beat story of a young man out of touch with his own life. That separateness is the result of a trauma that is slowly revealed across the book, and it leads him to several questionable life decisions. Once you get past the gore, you realize that Evan Mandery has created a full cast of bizarre-but-believable characters whom you grow to care about. An excellent read.
JessNY More than 1 year ago
I like to read before bed, and I go through a lot of books. What's rare is that I turn to my spouse to say, "this book is really good!" That's what happened with First Contact. Evan Mandery has created a fun read that still gives you food for thought and makes you feel a connection with the characters while never taking itself too seriously. The author goes off on tangents that wouldn't work anywhere near as well if tried by a less skilled author. Instead, in this book, they add to the lighthearted fun inherent in the story. Matters of the gravest concern are at stake in First Contact, and still it's an uplifting novel. From a president who is a composite of what some of us may have feared certain holders of that office have truly been (this one having a particular obsession with finding the right underwear) to his long-suffering aide, to raccoons and aliens from a far away world, this isn't your run-of-the-mill novel, but that's a very good thing. Never losing its pace or its sense of humor, you won't want to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mandery's First Contact is an engaging read: clever and a nice ride. I enjoyed it immensely, so much so that I postponed finishing it. The book has a slightly twisted, optimistic flavor, with a dryness that fits in well with the story. Mandery seems to kick the gods a bit, and weighs in upon some pretty dark themes, without requiring that the reader do more than appreciate life more fully. In sum, it's entertaining, saccarine-free, and sharp.
skarp More than 1 year ago
Disguised as a boisterous journey through the galaxy and beyond, Mandery skewers the forces of provincialism as he comments on the important things: relationships, government, the quest for knowledge, chocodiles, and Bundt cake. This is satire at its best, the work of a master. Carefully crafted and riotously funny on the outside, what I will remember about this book is the compassion and humantity at its core.
CynthiaGeorge More than 1 year ago
First Contact transports and inserts the reader into a political science fiction hullabaloo. An intelligent read that is difficult to put down, the level of intimacy between the author and the reader can only be compared to two compatriots conversing in the middle of a busy café where hopes, dreams and the meaning of life are consumed along with whimsically-named foodstuffs. The novel presents a unique reading experience heavily influenced by the artistic stylings of Monty Python, Douglas Adams and a young Woody Allen. Mandery's bang on observations about real, everyday situations and relationships were dispensed in a playful, comedic manner that forewarns, "it's later than you think." This is one new author to watch spinning a tale dying to be played out on the big screen.
JB83 More than 1 year ago
Do you hear that? That's the sound of Jon Stewart kicking himself, because he didn't write this hilarious book. Mixing politics, science fiction, philosophy, and love with a splash of pop culture references, Mandery has created a novel so funny that it's easy to forget how smart it is. Filled with fast-paced, witty dialogue, First Contact does the two things any great read does: It makes you laugh and makes you think.
Irwin_P_Kapfman More than 1 year ago
When I started reading it I was hooked right away, the characters, aside from the hilariously-clueless W-inspired president, are original and funny. The writing is witty as well as poignant. I found myself laughing out loud on the NYC subway, which got me a few looks from the other passengers. I figured that the book would be just one big laugh. I was wrong. Besides humorous, it was thoughtful and full of the kind of spirit that this world needs more. Still the events of the book are so funny don't be surprised if you miss your stop on the train or stay up all night to finish the book. Just take my word for it and buy it. You will not be sorry.