Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
The reading funk has been strong. So strong that none of my favorite genres are hitting the sweet spot of escapism. Then Other Realms Book Club reminded me about David Wong. I knew the author wrote a book called John Dies At The End which also became a movie. I remember being nervous about the book becaue I got that "weird vibe" from it. So to ease myself into the weirdness, I read John Dies At The End and then Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Back to Back.
Here's the wacky thing about these books. They are written by a man named David Wong. Whom I had assumed was an Asian author and I was eager to spread awareness of Asian Sci-Fi authors. Then it came to my attention that, nope. David Wong is the pen name for Jason Pargin, a not Asian writer. Pargrin used the pen name to seperate his comic writing work from his personal life. After reading two of his books, I am not surprised. He's just weird.
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is COMPLETELY different from John Dies At the End. Instead of jumping all wiley-nily in between reality and whatever other weirdness is in John Dies At The End, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is a much straightforward narrative. That still doesn't tamper down on the all out weirdness. For that iswhat I am understaning about David Wong. He is gloriously weird and is just up my humor alley.
It all begins with a girl from the trailer park named Zoey Ashe (this isn't an insult to trailer park residents. The character Zoey will constantly remind you where she's from) is attempting to extract her cat, Stench Machine, from the trailer roof. Typical day of a cat owner antics, it appears. In a few moments, Zoey will be on the run for her life as someone (later many someone's) is hunting her down to tear apart her flesh live on the Blink Feed for their millions of subscribers. In a world, not so very different our own, the world is crazy connect by the Blink network. Think of it as a system similar to Youtube but one that encourages crazy kills and drama antics. The recording devices are so small that they perch on the edge of your glasses. So anyone can see everything from everyone.
Zoey has no idea of this as she's being hunted. What she later finds out is that her scumbag of a father is a rich,rich, filthy rich man who has left her the keys to his wealth (automatically right there, I think of Ready, Player One). Immediately, Zoey is thrust upon a world of crazy wealth where the toilet can analyze your urine and that her fathers funeral was ordered to be a beer-infused party.
I powered through this book. It was just pure hysterial fun for me. It really read like a hyper-active campy movie where I wouldn't be surprised if Bruce Campbell made an appearance. I would enjoy seeing this book play out on the big screen. There is so much crude humor and nasty violence that it would definitely be R-rated. I can easily see this being full of car sponsors as they ride in some fancy dancy cars throughout.
The book title is true to its words. There is a lot of violence within the pages. Many scenese with bodies being blown apart or ripped apart. Yet it was so unrealistic in its execution, that I was able to stomach it and read on.
What did worry me the most throughout the book was the cat, Stench Machine. I absolutely abhor any violence to animals especially cats. Humans be damned but if the cat or dog dies, I will throw a fit. There were some tense moments but Stench Machine was never harmed. Phew.
This book is a hard one to recommend because it makes me worried what my friends will actually think of me. My gallows humor can easily be interprested as insenstive and the giddiness I feel towards some death scenes would mark me as a maniac. This book hit the sweet spot for me when my stress levels were at such an all time high that I was an inch away from doing Joker cackles in public. The constant action in the novel helped dissapate some of my own manic energy. It also really helped put my own troubles in perspective. Studying for a final is no where as crazy as being strapped to the head of a truck after being beaten to a pulp.
As for the reactions from the Other Realms Book Club members, it seemed pretty guarded with one collective opinion that Zoey annoyed them. Given that it's hard to discuss this book in a public place, I will just call it: they all enjoyed it and didn't want to paint themselves as crazy.