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Destroy All Monsters by Ken Hollings

Destroy All Monsters

by Ken Hollings

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It is Day 500 of Operation Desert Storm, and everything is going according to plan.. A cyborg created using bits of dead Elvis is forced to perform nightly to baying fans. A boy with the facility to Astral travel lives in a desert community under siege from the FBI (all very Waco). There are aliens in the Whitehouse and just off the coast of Japan is Earthquake island where a number of terror monsters such as Manta "the Giant Reptile wing", Micronosaur "the molecule monster", Eiga "The Dream monster" etc. (think old Godzilla movies) are kept quiescent by “The Scientist”. There is a puppy that is telepathic and has other mind powers due to all the experimental drugs it is forced to take and there is the daughter of The Scientist who is hiding in Tokyo from her father. There is a good book in here somewhere, it’s just a shame that Hollings has basically put it in a blender and thrown the resultant mess on the page. Most characters have no name and, sadly, also no development at all so end up being almost ciphers. There is no emotional engagement. The plot is fairly standard when boiled down – big bad government wants to weaponise scary technology without understanding it, oh and by the way, “war is bad”. However although it’s a bit of a mush there are glimpses of great ideas and some individual sentences are evocative and elegant. My favourite monster was Micronosaur a creature so small its density bends light. It’s known as the ‘molecule monster’. It’s so dense it has to create its own gravitational field, otherwise it would suck the whole world in around it.. The plot, such as it is, starts in the middle with several stories from several points of view being told at different times sometimes jumping from one story to another in the space of a paragraph with no clear delineation that this is what was being done.

Overall – messy and difficult read, occasional flashes of brilliance but probably not worth the effort ( )
  psutto | Feb 4, 2013 |
The blurb sounds like a Robert Rankin novel - Aliens in the Whitehouse, Elvis returned from the dead, a small telepathic dog, oh, and huge Terror Monsters determined to wreak havoc across the globe. It's no small boast, since this novel has all of these ingredients in spades - and more! However, Hollings' approach makes it all hard going. It's fragmented at best. The story begins mid-plot, which could be exciting, if only you had the faintest clue what was going on. Throughout the book the reader is expected to guess who each chapter refers to, making the narrative quite unrewarding to read. There are some good elements in there, but they are not played to their strengths. Robot psychopaths, cute dogs and giant Terror Monsters make for a great book, but unfortunately it's all a bit wasted here. ( )
  SonicQuack | Apr 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 071453062X, Paperback)

With America hopelessly bogged down in a protracted Operation Desert Storm, Elvis has returned from the dead as a tormented political assassin, there are aliens in the White House and giant monsters on the rampage. Factor in crazed combat robots, the total destruction of Japan, insane conspiracy theories and huge quantities of mindless blood-spattered violence, then get ready for the end of all creation in this stunning literary debut.

Illustrated by legendary underground artist Savage Pencil.

Ken Hollings writes regularly for Bizarre, Sight and Sound and The Wire. His work has also appeared in Gargoyle and the St Martins Press anthologies, The Last Sex and Digital Delirium.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:14 -0400)

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