Last Week's Apocalypse

Overview


Gore Vidal meets Philip K. Dick: These stories present electric messiahs, identity constructs, the Beatles, and even nuclear Armageddon as comic foils for Lain's everyman characters. Here is an America where the packets of Sea Monkeys that arrive in the mail contain secret messages and the girl next door can breathe underwater. With Last Week's Apocalypse, Douglas Lain arrives with a punch line and a warning.
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Overview


Gore Vidal meets Philip K. Dick: These stories present electric messiahs, identity constructs, the Beatles, and even nuclear Armageddon as comic foils for Lain's everyman characters. Here is an America where the packets of Sea Monkeys that arrive in the mail contain secret messages and the girl next door can breathe underwater. With Last Week's Apocalypse, Douglas Lain arrives with a punch line and a warning.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Being paranoid provides no reason to doubt that They are not out to get you, as Lain's ambitious postmodern story collection proves. In homage to past warriors against totalitarianism, contemporary Winston Smiths battle the trap of capitalism's ever-receding promise of a meaningful life via meaningless work ("Instant Labor"). Picking among the castoffs of baby boomer consumerism, Lain's Gen-X protagonists desperately try to construct an identity in a culture where novelty undermines authenticity. The simplicity of sea monkeys ("The Sea Monkey Conspiracy") and the rigidity of the Cold War ("I Read the News Today") are the closest to fixed values that can be found, and even they are uncertain at best. Characters learn, via a malfunctioning holographic Jesus ("How to Stop Selling Jesus"), that salvation is not granted but attained. Lain intrudes in his narratives, exploiting metafictive devices like direct address and references to other stories, tying a character's quest for identity to his own quest to unravel the stifling logic of America's malled-in society. Distracting typographic tricks contribute to the atmosphere of uncertainty. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597800341
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 1/15/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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