Let me start by saying that I am a fan of apocalyptic fiction. I love a good tale of the end of the world, whether by disease (The Stand), nuclear war (One Second After), zombies (World War Z), alien invasion (Footfall), cosmic disaster (Lucifer’s Hammer), or anything else suitably dire. “Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse” is not exactly one of those tales.
In a nutshell, the story is as follows: after nines years of living alone in the mountains, our hero Mortimer Tate finally ventures out and see what is going on in what’s left of the world. He discovers that society is being held loosely together (at least in his neck of the woods) by a string of strip clubs – Joey Armageddon’s Sassy-a-Go-Go. Armageddon dollars are the coin of the realm, and by trading a few stockpiled supplies, Mortimer quickly finds himself to be a wealthy man. After acquiring a few traveling companions, he sets out on a quest to locate his ex-wife, who is rumored to be working at another Joey Armageddon’s location. What then ensues is a string of close calls, narrow escapes, unlikely reunions, and general mayhem.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I found the book to be an entertaining, if not fulfilling, read with a new spin on the post-apocalyptic genre. It’s not too far fetched to think that man might revert back to his baser nature in an attempt to bring order to an essential lawless and chaotic society. Why not have a Go-Go bar form the basis for a new world order? What I struggled with was the overall direction of the story. Much of the action is driven by Mortimer’s desire to locate his ex-wife. Fine – but halfway through the book he has an epiphany and realizes that he has constructed a vision of reuniting with her as a means to add direction and purpose to his foray back in to society. He realizes that his new friends are purpose enough for him – and then still rushes headlong in to certain death to try and find her (and hopefully collect payment of 20,000 Armageddon dollars for his trouble). What the author wants to be seen as an grand final battle ensues, and Mortimer eventually ends up on the beach in Key West with his new friends. I didn’t really get a good sense of closure from the story, or feel like the author paid off the premise in the end.
The blurb on the books calls it “part Christopher Moore, part Quentin Tarantino”. Unfortunately, the book had neither the same wry wit of Moore, nor the engaging dialogue and rich characters of Tarantino. It would have been a far better read if it had.
Overall, I would have to give this book 2 1/2 stars. It was a quick read and had some enjoyable moments (the cameo by Ted Turner is hilarious, and the description of the new post apocalyptic Jack Daniels label is priceless). It does contain a good bit of violence and sex – so beware if that is not your cup of tea.
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