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Blueprints of the Afterlife

by Ryan Boudinot

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2871773,414 (3.68)7
It is the future. The end of the world is no more than a distorted memory. A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America's cities. Medical care is supplied by networked and human nervous systems can be hacked. Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not her own. And she's right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who's dragged his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics medal to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle who puts people in the right places at the right time- and it all culminates in a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound.--From back cover.… (more)
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Bits and pieces of it were amusing, and the whole thing was absurd, but there wasn't enough of a guiding force (or maybe it just moved too slow) for it to be really compelling. ( )
  levan.matthew | Jul 17, 2021 |
Championship dishwasher Woo-jin Kan is told by his future self that he must quit his job at Il Italian Joint and write a book called How to Love People so that The Last Dude, who sits atop an Arizona mesa, can read this book and spell out for any onlookers what it was that brought about the end of humanity. It starts there and gets weirder. Marauding sentient glaciers, floating celestial heads, miniature software development monks - that sort of thing.

Boudinot is both a hilariously gifted wordsmith and a master storyteller, and Blueprints of the Afterlife will most certainly be among the best books of 2012. ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 13, 2020 |
My best friend Joel recommended Richard Kelly's bizarre film Southland Tales a few years ago. I found considerable overlap with Southland Tales and Blueprints of the Afterlife, certainly more than between Boudinot's novel and Infinite Jest, which appears to be the trope many reviewers are leaning toward. Southland Tales also features a familiar future with our liminal excesses appropriated and a plethora of references abound, especially of German philosophy, though Boudinot reaches to Nietzsche whereast Kelly mines Marx for metaphor.

Blueprints proved to be an unyielding vortex, sucking me inward and challenging me part and parcel to parse its disparate elements. The tension between content and context is ruthlessly elongated, it brought 1Q84 to mind, that monastic repetition. Oh well, I liked it but found most threads dangling. Here's to the inchoate and what we label art.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Honestly, this book was amazing and I couldn't put it down. It was recommended to me because I had read the gone away world, which I love, and sadly this book doesn't have as much kungfu. That being said I totally love this book, and I would have given it 5 stars except that the ending was a little disappointing, anti-climactic climactic even. I can't wait to read more by this author though ( )
  atomoton | Apr 25, 2018 |
Awesome. A perfect combination of outrageous writing talent and enthralling story telling. Oh yeah, I also had to stop and laugh out loud pretty often. Brilliant. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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It is the future. The end of the world is no more than a distorted memory. A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America's cities. Medical care is supplied by networked and human nervous systems can be hacked. Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not her own. And she's right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who's dragged his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics medal to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle who puts people in the right places at the right time- and it all culminates in a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound.--From back cover.

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