A review of


by Matthew Sharpe

Central question: What happens when Pocahontas gets her hands on a wireless communications device?
Format: 320 pp., cloth; Size: 9-1/10" x 6-1/5"; Price: $25.00; Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Representative sentence: “I believe survival is predicated on unrelenting will plus aggression plus, of course, how very pleasurable God made fucking, and I hope neither pessimism nor the explicit mention of the great pleasure of sex are taboo in your culture as they sometimes are in mine, but I say these things in the interest of total honesty and transparency, anything less than which, I feel, will be an impediment to the fullest possible understanding between us, and I figure if you like me at all, which you seem to despite not having answered my last half dozen IM’s, you like my darkness and devotion to pussy.”

Matthew Sharpe’s last novel, the surprise indie bestseller The Sleeping Father, was that rarest of literary creatures: an entirely original family novel. Now Sharpe returns with one of the smartest, funniest, bloodiest, and bawdiest novels in recent memory, a gonzo encyclopedic reimagining of the Jamestown settlement set in a postannihilation near future that opens with the Chrysler Building plunging into the earth.

Manhattan and Brooklyn are at war, a not entirely improbable turn of events as any denizen of either borough knows. Day and night, assassins dart across the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges, zigzagging snipers’ bullets. Food and fuel and guns are scarce. To restock his war machine, the chief executive officer of the Manhattan Company, Jimmy Stuart, dispatches an armored bus carrying a band of business executives, half of them early release convicts, south on what’s left of I-95 to set up a Virginia branch of the Manhattan Company. Onboard the “Autobus Godspeed” all types of hilarity and degeneracy occur, much of it involving knives. “Some great, quaint pre-annihilation philosopher described the movement of history as thesis, antithesis, synthesis,” says our first but by no means last narrator, Manhattan Co.’s “communications specialist,” Johnny Rolfe, “whereas I’ve seen a lot more thesis, antithesis, steak knife, bread knife.”

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Alec Michod

Alec Michod grew up in Chicago, an 851-mile car ride from Jamestown.

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