Friday, February 29, 2008

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse -- Victor Gischler

Since this book has what's bound to be the best title of 2008, you might be wondering what else it has to offer. It has, for one thing, story. It's about what happens to Mortimer Tate nine years after the apocalypse. Tate missed that event because he was hiding out in cabin and a well-stocked cave, and he hasn't seen anybody since. When he does see three guys, he kills them. Not that it's his fault, you understand. This event precipitates Mortimer's return to the world, such as it is. It's quite a trip, for both Mortimer and the reader.

Go-Go Girls isn't exactly a picaresque novel, since Mortimer's not a picaro. It's more like Candide, the variation in which the person making his way through a corrupt society is a naive optimist. Mortimer wanders through the post-apocalyptic landscape, taking as much punishment as Candide, and he's almost as optimistic. But then Mortimer is a Platinum Card holder in the Joey Armageddon's Sassy A-Go-Go franchise, which helps.

People turn up to help or hinder or torture Mortimer, disappear, and turn up again in the classic fashion, as Mortimer ventures through the strangeness of the brave new world. Along the way he learns some things about himself and the world. There's action, adventure, sex, gore, cannibalism, the Muscle Train, and a blimp. Not to mention go-go girls. Great stuff. What more could you ask for? In case you're wondering, my favorite chapter is XXXIII, which I think should earn Gischler a lifetime supply of Jack Daniel's.

I've reviewed a couple of Gischler's books before, here and here. I've also read and enjoyed Gun Monkeys and Pistol Poets. This new novel, available July 8, goes in a different direction. Gischler's going to be a writer you can't pin down. I think his readers will follow him (it would be a mistake not to), and everybody should be eager to see what he's going to do next. It'll probably be different, and it'll probably be worth waiting for.

6 comments:

  1. This looks like a fun book, and I plan to check it out. You might enjoy Crooked Little Vein, a fun first novel by Warren Ellis. It's a PI road novel that drags its protagonist through some mighty strange American subcultures. Also, your Candide comment reminds me of Robert Sheckley's Mindswap, a funny and strange sf novel that I just got around to reading last year.

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  2. I love Sheckley. I read all that stuff years ago, probably when you were just a tyke. If not before then. I still have the old paperback of Mindswap.

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  3. One time, this guy who wrote crime novels decide to write a post-apocalyptic satire. He died. True story.

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  4. Thanks for the good word, Bill. Much obliged.

    VG

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  5. Always glad to plug a good book.

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  6. this book is amazing

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