This page-turning psychological thriller is for fans of Twelve Monkeys, The Matrix and Brave New World
Matt Ruff is the author of the critically-acclaimed Set This House In Order as well as two previous novels, Fool On The Hill and Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy. He lives in Seattle.
In this clever SF thriller from Ruff (Fool on the Hill), almost everyone is a bad monkey of some kind, but only Jane Charlotte is a self-confessed member of "The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons." Or is she? In a series of sessions with a psychotherapist in the Las Vegas County Jail "nut wing," Jane tells the story of her early life in San Francisco and her assimilation into the "Bad Monkeys," an organization devoted to fighting evil. Crazy or sane, Jane is still a murderer, whether she used a weapon like the NC gun, which kills someone using Natural Causes, or more prosaic weaponry. Still, nothing is quite what it seems as Jane's initial story of tracking a serial killer janitor comes under scrutiny and the initial facts about her brother, Phil, get turned on their head. At times the twists are enough to give the reader whiplash. Ruff's expert characterization of Jane and agile manipulation of layers of reality ground the novel and make it more than just a Philip K. Dick rip-off. (July 24) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
'A bloody good read ... a very enjoyable adventure story with a bizarre paranormal twist that will satisfy fans of such things' Dark Side 'If you leave this book on a train halfway, you'll buy another copy tomorrow ... Her world is superbly rendered. This is a feat of imagination, helped by its setting: one of those haunting all-American locations that are both nowhere yet on the road to places the whole world has heard of' Daily Telegraph 'Fast. Wicked. Scarily clever, and equally fun for those who like thrillers and those who don't' Neal Stephenson, bestselling author of Quicksilver and Cryptonomicon 'Highly entertaining. It moves fast and keeps surprising you. There are also some exciting and hallucinatory action sequences that are so skillfully written I felt as if I was watching the first Matrix movie, which I unabashedly loved' New York Times Book Review
Imprisoned in a nearly featureless room, Jane Charlotte is being interrogated by a man in a white lab coat. It seems she's killed somebody. How? And why? Her answer is a convoluted tale of a vast secret organization whose agents fight evil by keeping humanity under "ubiquitous surveillance" and selectively assassinating the "bad monkeys," people deemed irredeemably evil. Of course, such vast and secret organizations tend to have equally vast and secret nemeses. They also have to keep careful tabs on their own agents. Jane's not quite certain which side her captors are on, and it's an open question whether she's crazy or not. There are echoes here of the pervasive paranoia of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Walker Percy's unreliable jailhouse narrator in Lancelot, as well as the sardonic black humor of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, not to mention Max Barry's sly satires of the absurdities of bureaucratic organizations. Cult favorite Ruff's (Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy) scenario inevitably raises questions about the morality of secret and summary "justice," but the story moves along in a fast-paced, satirical style that never slows down or turns preachy. Jane's tangled tale, from her confused, youthful introduction to this complicated secret world to the final, catastrophic mission, will keep most readers guessing until the last page. Recommended for all public libraries.-Bradley A. Scott, Brighton Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.