Email this review


Lunatic jaunt through a cartoon future, from Cambridge-educated Scott.

In Scott’s indeterminate future, America consists of an endless city divided into music zones (Jazz, Classical, Compilation, etc.), phones and elevators talk back and dreams are available in pill form—especially those created by dream architect Jonny X67. Until he arrives home to find his house has been stolen, along with all his working materials. Just then, Caroline E61 jumps out of a helicopter to try and sell him a set of encyclopedias. Craving a cigarette, Jonny shakes her off to go in search of the Inconvenient, a bar that’s difficult to find and almost impossible to get served in. As he enjoys a large Long Island Iced Tea, the four Bikers of the Apocalypse roar up—while the house thieves call, hoping to exchange Jonny’s stuff for the location of the remote. But the Bikers grab Jonny and whisk him off to an undisclosed location where they kayo him, then feed him porridge and reveal that his task is to assassinate God. Escaping just in time thanks to an assist from Caroline—she’s still determined to make a sale—Jonny’s nabbed by Zone Traffic Securities for speeding and thrown in jail. After upsetting both his estranged wife and current girlfriend, Jonny makes bail, goes surfing, then tracks down the encyclopedia company—where he learns that, since he didn’t buy, a Belgian assassin’s now on his tail. Hilarious—if all this tickles your funny bone.

Still, California with a British accent sounds peculiar enough; add some purple patches, lose all sense of direction, top off with preachy tendencies and this relentlessly zany shindig’s more wearisome than delectable.

Pub Date: June 5th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-553-38440-6
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007