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Rock Manning Goes For Broke eBook

Rock Manning Goes For Broke eBook

by Charlie Jane Anders

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Vikings vs. Steampunks! Ice cream sundae hearse disasters! Roman gladiators meet vacuum-cleaner salesmen! Inappropriate uses of exercise equipment and supermarket trolleys! Unsupervised fires, and reckless destruction of public property! Nothing is off limits.

Rock Manning lives and breathes slapstick comedy, and his whole life is an elaborate tribute to the masters, like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Jackie Chan. With his best friend, Sally Hamster, he creates joyfully chaotic short movies that are full of mayhem and silliness.

But Rock and Sally are becoming famous at a time of unrest, when America's economy has collapsed and people are taking refuge in highly addictive drugs. America's youth are being drafted to take part in endless wars against imaginary enemies overseas, while at home, a fascist militia known as the Red Bandanas is rising to power. As America becomes more mired in violence and destruction, Rock Manning's zany comedy films become the escapist fun that everybody needs.

Over-the-top physical comedy and real-life brutality collide, as Rock and Sally find themselves unable to avoid getting sucked into the slow implosion of their country. The Red Bandanas want Rock Manning to star in propaganda films promoting their movement, and soon Rock and Sally are at the center of the struggle for the soul of America. The trauma and death that Rock witnesses begin to take a toll on him.

When a botched weapon test plunges the world into deeper chaos, Rock and Sally must confront once and for all the outer limits of comedy.

From Booklist (Starred Review):

“Disaffected young-adult filmmakers who specialize in escapist stunt comedy are caught in a propaganda war in Anders’ sharp, absurdist novella… This gonzo vision of an apocalyptic America is a challenging mixture of both farce and tragedy; it makes its point about the influence and responsibility of the media in the weirdest possible way.”

From Publishers Weekly:

“Hugo and Nebula winner Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) glances sideways at current political and social issues in this jittery, vigorous science fiction novella set in a near-future United States… At times hilarious, at times brutal, this is an extremely personal look at how one person tries to survive constant tragedy.”

From Kirkus Reviews:

“Anders' (All the Birds in the Sky, 2016, etc.) latest short work is an absurdist, apocalyptic fable… The emotional currents and thematic elements running through this story strongly resonate with today's sociopolitical milieu, even if our situation is not currently as dire—in particular, the tendency to try to continue with daily life even as catastrophe threatens, as well as the necessity of making art in the face of fierce opposition, feels topical. Rock's personality—easily distracted, always in motion despite being somewhat aimless—is both realistically uncomfortable to experience and sympathetic. An astute capsule of that moment of overload when you can't decide whether to laugh or cry.”

From Locus:

“When Kingsley Amis coined the very useful term ‘comic inferno’ back in 1959, he wasn’t thinking of Harold Lloyd comedies, and certainly couldn’t have imagined the sort of Jackass-style homemade movie stunts that are at the heart of Charlie Jane Anders’s novella Rock Manning Goes for Broke. But the term is a pretty useful description of the slapstick-in-the-face-of-apocalypse attitude of Anders’s characters… Amis’s idea of the comic inferno referred to the exaggerated satire of social trends in the work of authors like Frederik Pohl; in Anders’s manically entertaining version of it, satire gives way to slapstick, and the exaggerations, hilarious as they are, seem unnervingly unlike exaggerations at all.”

 

Additional Information

Authors Anders, Charlie Jane
Artists Nowak, Carolyn
Type Novelette
Edition ebook
ISBN 978-1-59606-879-7
Year 2018
Month September
Print Status In Print
eBook? Yes
Length 78 pages
EBook Rights Country Canada, United States
eBook Region United States, Canada

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