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Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (Public Works Trilogy) (1997)

by Matt Ruff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0092214,773 (3.84)23
A computer-generated plague sweeps the world, killing every black person in sight. This is one of a number of doomsday events contained in this futuristic novel where mayhem follows mayhem. In another, a shark is creating havoc in New York's sewer system.

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
this dude definitely has pynchon's balls in his mouth
  quietype | Jun 22, 2020 |
This is the only Matt Ruff book I couldn't love, and I've read them all. It's his second book, written in Pynchon-style rather than in his own wonderful, distinctive voice. I'm glad he went back to it for all of his other books. I bet this is a great read if you're a Pynchon fan, which I used to be, but seem to have grown out of it. If I grow into it again I will definitely go back to this book. Fortunately for me he has a new book coming out in 2015, 'Lovecraft Country'. Can't wait.
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I like Matt's stuff, and this book is indeed full of truly odd and whimsical situations and whatnot, but it felt more like a miss than a hit for me. Too much jumping all over the place every few pages, combined with a cast of characters that might fit with a Russian novelist, made it feel a bit like a slog.

That said, I did enjoy the story, but the structure, as mentioned above, was a turn-off for me. Still, if you like his quirky tales, I'd still recommend giving it a go. He's creative as hell, that's for certain. ( )
  Scott_Baron | Jun 13, 2017 |
Outstandingly good read. Funny, quirky, fast paced, can't put it down kind of book. It was worth all the effort it took to find it. ( )
  danojacks | Jan 5, 2017 |
I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book for the first 90 pages or so, and then it started to develop some better plotting and was a great read from there on. Although the end wasn't up to the standard of the middle.

It's one of the few books where I have needed to refer back to the cast of characters list as there is so much happening to begin with, in fact I would say that this is one of my complaints about the book.

Hi next two books (Set this House in Order and Bad Monkeys) were much more disciplined and I recommend them heartily. I still have his first (Fool on the Hill) to read but it's slipped down the pile a little after this one. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matt Ruffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bandini, DitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bandini, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nemeth, GabrielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's very strange for me to look at your generation. You see, we always had this idea that each generation was going to be brighter, cheer more for justice and more for peace. But my youngest son, who's 16, says to me, "Dad, you're so quaint and romantic. You think things are going to get better, that there's hope." he says, "but none of us believe this." And then he tells me how half the world is going to be wiped out by AIDS, how the polar icecap is going to melt, that the tropical rainforest will be gone in 30 years and we won't have any oxygen, which doesn't matter anyway since the nuclear holocaust is going to happen within 7 years, and if I'm a little doubtful about the dates, he says he can prove it to me on his computer...In my view, if the next generation is going to make some contribution it'll be the discovery of how you struggle for social change without having any hope. In the 60's, you see, when you jumped on the earth, the earth jumped back just like Einstein said it would. We knew we'd win every battle because every day we grew up. Every day was a new day and being on the brink of the Apocalpyse was romantic. But maybe this vision that you have is the more realistic of the two..."
Abbie Hoffman at the University of South Carolina, 1987
For Ayn Rand
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No one could say he hadn't been warned.
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A computer-generated plague sweeps the world, killing every black person in sight. This is one of a number of doomsday events contained in this futuristic novel where mayhem follows mayhem. In another, a shark is creating havoc in New York's sewer system.

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