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Postapoc by Liz Worth
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Postapoc

by Liz Worth

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Revelation among the punks

Postapoc by Liz Worth (Litdistco, $19.95).

Sometime after “The End,” in which the world is in disarray, organization—and the people who provide it—is nowhere to be found, and there’s nobody here but us drunk, stoned, depressed teenagers with our punk music and each other.

To call this dystopian is to damn with faint praise. It’s a poetic, hallucinogenic description of the slow apocalypse that ensues when one world has suddenly and abruptly ended and no one yet knows if a new world will be born.

The narrator, Ang (which is probably pronounced “Anj”), has failed to kill herself as part of a suicide pact, so in addition to facing the end of the world alone, she’s got some shame and failure issues. This would be a great story in a linear narrative; it’s pretty good in the disjointed pastiche that Toronto chronicler of Canadian punk Liz Worth has written. This is the apocalypse that the punks claimed to see coming in their music; now, it leaves them shell-shocked and staggering.

Not for depressives, Postapoc will have far more appeal to punk rockers and fans of performance art, dark poetry, and anti-art than to traditional science fiction readers. That said, it’s a nightmare, with toxic rainstorms melting people and bodies turning into something more like an insect’s carapace. Give it to your favorite William S. Burroughs fan.

(Published on Lit/Rant on 2/25/14: http://litrant.tumblr.com/post/77798824387/revelation-among-the-punks-postapoc-b...) ( )
  KelMunger | Mar 10, 2014 |
Book Info: Genre: Dystopian (?)
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: People who like to have their minds played with
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, suicidal ideation, rape

My Thoughts: Is this all real? That is the question I kept asking myself as I read this book. Is this actually happening, or is this some sort of irreality playing out in the narrator's brain. A hallucination? These questions are never answered, it is left up to the reader to decide if this is real or the imaginings of a very damaged mind. So many of the things that happen have the feeling of a drug-induced psychotic break that I never did decide this for myself.

The fact that this book invaded my dreams should give you a good idea of how strongly these thoughts affected me as I was reading it. But it was also a very hard book to read, with some difficult things running through it. Not only the suicide pact that Ang was part of, but also surviving in the leftovers of the world after everything goes crazy. The starvation, the fear, the danger, the eating of cats and dogs. I just really had a difficult time. In a good way, I hasten to add. This book made me think, made me wonder, and left tendrils of itself in my brain. If you're interested in this book, check it out. Just be99 aware it will seriously mess with your mind.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Sole survivor of a suicide pact, Ang has fallen into an underground music scene obsessed with the idea of the end of the world. But when the end finally does come, Ang and her friends don't find the liberation they expected. Instead, those still alive are starving, strung out and struggling to survive in a world that no longer makes sense. As Ang navigates the world's final days, her emotional and physical instability mix with growing uncertainty and she begins to distrust her perception in a place where nothing can ever be trusted for what it seems to be. Bleak and haunting, "PostApoc" blends poetry and punk rock, surrealism and stark imagery to tell the story of a girl wavering at the edge of her sanity. ( )
  Katyas | Oct 18, 2013 |
Review copy provided by NetGalley, on behalf of Now Or Never Publishing

Ang has long been living as close to death as she can, entranced by the music that seems to be channeling her very thoughts: dedicating her life to dying. When The End finally comes, all acid rain and ravenous dogs, she finds it's not what she expected. As the sole survivor of a suicide pact, she begins to wonder if she is the one who has tipped the universe off balance.

Ang has been broken her whole life, yet somehow the pieces cling together. She lives through this label, "killing time," she says, "until we kill ourselves." She's comes back to Vancouver, not dead, only to see the onset of The End. As the world goes from bizarre to hopeless the irony is painful, it's not far into the novel before Ang begins to question whether she is the reason the apocalypse has happened. Did she survive her suicide only to see the world to it's bitter end? Is this her punishment for not wanting to die enough?

Her life never loses it's mantra of "danger/destruction/detonation", these bands whom she listens to only give a soundtrack, channel the audiences thought, guide them. The anthems only remind her "that living as close to death as possible is the only way to feel alive."

Ang is timeless. A girl of our generation, born however many decades ago, she's a little more than twenty when the world begins to end. She's seeking the oblivion, finds her meaning, and then loses it. When a boy swaying to Shit Kitten's song 'PostApoc' says, "I was made to live in these times," she rolls her eyes. Those lyrics are a frequent thought for her as she reflects and acts. "It's my body and I can die if I want to."

It would be remiss not to mention that Liz Worth is knowledgeable of the punk scene in Toronto. Ang's travails are like bad trips while in the underground music scene or crashing at someone's house, but this is reality and the trips are worse. Her easy flow from dream to hallucination to minimal sobriety makes you question her, but Ang is surprisingly cognizant through the worst. This isn't a trick, Worth isn't out to make you question Ang, since the girl has enough thing she must figure out herself. It's not a train wreck you can't look away from, it's a high descent into the primeval world.

Her relationships are the strings of the story, her life related to strangers, to friends, to ghosts, to herself, always features another participant she was friends or lovers with. These connections, remembering the people who knew you, and now the people you knew who were gone, is all that's left of them. She's all that's left of them, and along the endless days and the sweltering winters, she wants something that keeps her going, to earn her that label of survivor. Because otherwise, she'll die.

This sense of travel, this transcendence of time-space-moments, is what Tooth would say is the result of disrupting the universe. I told him I'm not really supposed to be alive now and he said, "That makes more sense than anything I've ever heard."

I requested this from NetGalley on a whim, as I'm constantly trying to broaden my horizons. It was one of the 'instant-accept' offers they have out all the time, and therefore I was dubious, but liked the cover. It screams of it's intentions. The blurb reminded me of Go Ask Alice from my youth, and upon reading closing it, I was reminded of The Green Witch by Alice Hoffman which I read when it came out. I wanted to like PostApoc and I ended up loving it. I can't recommend this book to you too much. It's different than the aforementioned young adult books because it's written accurately without spinning out of our grasp. There's a time to write stream of consciousness of dreaming drug addicts and there's a time to write the thoughts of woman in a world going to hell.

Comparisons to those older books written for teenagers just doesn't do PostApoc justice. Someone compared this book to The Naked Lunch, that book which inspired the Beat poets and is still lauded today, but I'm not sure if PostApoc, with its pointedly unanswered questions, isn't better that that. This book is thought-provoking, and has become one of my favorite books. I look forward to revisiting it in the future. ( )
  knotbox | Sep 21, 2013 |
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