Dystopian satire on the Information Age and medicated students that may well charm its way intravenously into the hearts of younger readers.
Its sublime dialogue certainly will appeal to youths pondering the vacuity of modern life. Ludlow Press opens this spring with a pair of manic original trade paperbacks (see Perez, below). WILL is a psychopharmacologically medicated post-post-post-post-modern college student who can’t adjust to the notion of homework and is failing all courses, his GPA now sunk to 1.55. His mother isn’t much help (“I just don’t feel I can give you any advice I can honestly say I subscribe to”), and there’s also the problem of Information Sickness (IS). WILL, at 19, is a Virology major: he studies viruses, the ultimate information systems that leave you sick or dying. And IS is an “overload of information. A disease so insidious that its spread was relentless, detection nearly impossible, and the infection rate potentially universal.” “Like maybe, information has a half-life or something. It accretes in your system until there’s some kind of mega-overload. Or maybe if everything’s absurd, and true, and instantly contradicted and meaningless, existential fusion occurs. You’re hit with a metaphysical hydrogen bomb composed of the world’s bullshit and beauty.” The smart disease for a wired world kills 47 on campus [“CAUSE ALLUDES AUTHORITIES”], with Hollywood dickering for movie rights, while the university claims all rights to the virus. Like Don Quixote, WILL gears up his wonder computer, Spunk, and sets out on a superclueless epicqwest of memoir-therapy toward a world-saving myth amid the hopeless culturebabble. Whether conversing with doctors, student counselor, the brainy Naomi (his Dulcinea), he’s fabulously talkative.
The unwitting laughter he steadily evokes, page by page, makes Grimes (City of God, 1995) a joyous dark humorist.