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Apocalypticon by Clayton Smith

Apocalypticon (2014)

by Clayton Smith

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This was a great story about the power of friendship. I loved the relationship between Ben and Patrick. I hope, if the end of the world comes in my lifetime, that I have as loyal a friend as they were to each other. ( )
  mtlkch | May 20, 2017 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Clayton Smith's Apocalypticon is incredibly easy to summarize -- it's what a post-apocalyptic novel would look like if written by Joss Whedon -- and what you think of it is going to directly reflect what you think of that idea, of basically the storyline of Mad Max as seen through the eyes of a couple of goofy slackers who are slightly autistic and have an obsessive love of throwaway pop culture. (It's no surprise that the framing device for this novel is our heroes' obsessive quest to make it from Chicago to Disney World for a nonsensical "end of the world vacation.") And although I'm on record as not particularly liking actual Joss Whedon projects, I have to admit that I gleefully enjoyed this book a lot more, primarily for the go-for-broke sheer silliness of this absurdist plot and even more absurdist characters, and the way it agreeably clashes with the super-serious and violent world that our Raimi-esque narrators blissfully traipse their way through. A surprisingly thoughtful look at what a post-apocalyptic Chicago run by murderous gangs might actually look like, an especially big bonus for a local like me, this will be right up the alley of people who liked The Road but didn't think it had enough fart jokes, which believe it or not I actually mean as a compliment.

Out of 10: 8.5, or 9.5 for Joss Whedon fans ( )
  jasonpettus | Oct 15, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0989806839, Paperback)

"Equal parts Mad Max and Monty Python...one hilarious, harrowing and heart-wrenching tale."

"...[Smith] deftly balances humor, suspense, action, and sorrow (sometimes all within the same passage)."

Clayton Smith's astounding debut novel has redefined the post-apocalyptic genre.

Three years have passed since the Jamaicans caused the apocalypse, and things in post-Armageddon Chicago have settled into a new kind of normal. Unfortunately, that "normal" includes collapsing skyscrapers, bands of bloodthirsty maniacs, and a dwindling cache of survival supplies. After watching his family, friends, and most of the non-sadistic elements of society crumble around him, Patrick decides it's time to cross one last item off his bucket list.

He's going to Disney World. 

This hilarious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching odyssey through post-apocalyptic America is a pilgrimage peppered with peril, as fellow survivors Patrick and Ben encounter a slew of odd characters, from zombie politicians and deranged survivalists to a milky-eyed oracle who doesn't have a lot of good news. Plus, it looks like Patrick may be hiding the real reason for their mission to the Magic Kingdom...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

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