You Bright and Risen Angels

You Bright and Risen Angels

5.0 2
by William T. Vollmann
     
 

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In the jungles of South America, on the ice fields of Alaska, the plains of the Midwest, and the streets of San Francisco, a fearsome battle rages. The insects are vying for world domination; the inventors of electricity stand in evil opposition. Bug , a young man, rebels against his own kind and joins forces with the insects. Wayne, a thug, allies himself with the

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Overview

In the jungles of South America, on the ice fields of Alaska, the plains of the Midwest, and the streets of San Francisco, a fearsome battle rages. The insects are vying for world domination; the inventors of electricity stand in evil opposition. Bug , a young man, rebels against his own kind and joins forces with the insects. Wayne, a thug, allies himself with the malevolent forces of electricity and vows to assassinate the preying mantis who tends bar in Oregon. A brusque La Pasionara with the sprightly name of Millie leads an intrepid band of revolutionaries.

You Bright and Risen Angels is the work of an extraordinary imagination. In this free-wheeling novel of epic proportions, William T. Vollmann has crafted a biting, hilarious satire of history, technology, politics, and misguided love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's no easy taskby the author's clear intentionto say exactly what's going on and why in this ferociously talented first novel, a comic-surrealistic assault upon reason that should appeal to those who enjoy Thomas Pynchon. The story is an epic brew of technology, magic, politics, history and entomology, by turns fiercely satiric and good-naturedly humorous. The narrative flits from the jungles of South America to the dusty plains of Afghanistan, the ice fields of Alaska, the streets of San Francisco and many other places, featuring as its principal theme a pitiless war between insects and the inventors of electricity (the distinction between man and insect being somewhat blurred). This battle takes place amid the semi-rational doings of revolutionaries, reactionaries, electrical engineers, prostitutes and social misfits. Some judgments may be ventured: that Vollmann's imagination is astounding; that his dark vision of a perpetually feuding world gives his novel artistic integrity; and that whatever his story may add up to, every page arrests and entertains. Drawings by the author. (May 27)
Library Journal
In this surrealistic allegory, America is populated exclusively by revolutionaries and reactionaries. The reactionaries are led by the mysterious Society of Daniel, a group of electrical engineers who worship the sacred Book of Generators. The revolutionaries, humanoid insects who pledge allegiance to the Great Beetle, are united by a common experience of torture at the hands of crewcut bullies. Vollmann calls the book a cartoon, and although he clearly sympathizes with the radicals, they are, after all, only bugs. In addition to an undigested mass of information about power plants, entomology, and hand guns, there is a lot of good writing herebut not nearly enough to fill 600 pages. With better editing this might have been outstanding. As it stands, it is a fascinating flop, but one that readers interested in experimental fiction will want to take a look at. Edward B. St. John, Loyola Marymount Univ. Lib., Los Angeles

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140110876
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1988
Series:
Contemporary American Fiction Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
646
Sales rank:
450,309
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.61(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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