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Atom (Beerlight #3)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Welcome to the comic and bizarre world of Mr. Taffy Atom, private detective extraordinaire, and his voracious sidekick, Jed Helms, who just happens to be a fish. Set in the same nightmarishly noir underworld of Beerlight seen in other works by Steve Aylett, Atom follows the hero as he trails a motley pack of criminals chasing down some missing gray matter - not their own,...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 16th 2000 by Thunder's Mouth Press
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In a fit of pique, I reread Steve Aylett's Atom last night, and was reminded of how much I love this book.

'Are you familiar sir, with the author Franz Kafka?'

'Sure. Greatest black author ever lived.'

'He wasn't black sir.'

'He probably is by now.'

'No matter - as I need scarcely remind you, Kafka was of a most singular personality. Why, he'd think nothing of riding on a hound, or sticking wax lips on his eyeglasses. Seeing the world for what it was, he passed the time by whining with artful care, a
Describing Steve Aylett’s wild ride Atom is a lot like holding water in your hands. The thought stays with you for a mere moment until it just runs through your fingers. You remember the experience vividly, but are unable to accurately explain the sensation.

Three figures emerged from Atom’s brownstone. A cloaked cadaver cradling its gored face, followed by a naked Atom and the fat gent carrying a fishtank between them. In the tank’s gloom rocked a giant mouth with a tail.

Atom is Taffy Atom, priv...more
Aylett writes psychotic pulp poetry where language is ripped apart and recombined into a mutant lexicon of anagrammatic one liners amid a schizopolis of pulp conventions mashed together in a slurry of weirdness. His prose it tightly condensed and hallucinogenic. His dialogue is snappy, hilarious, and thoroughly Dada. Like all of my favorite books, Atom is a hard-boiled noir about a defective (not detective), his mutant fish Jed, the President and his affair with a manatee named Ramon, and a cape...more
I can't read avant-garde fiction quickly. But, Atom is pretty fun. I am reminded of Dick Tracy, the Movie, if made by David Lynch. There is definite and clearly plotted story here, unlike what I found in Mark Leyner's "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist" (although Leyner made me laugh until I had to put the book down.)
Atom is an acid trip detective story. At times I felt the avant-garde-ness was getting in the way. I'll probably reread this and find one more by Aylett.

Recommended, very short to tr...more
Oct 25, 2008 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who liked The Invisibles
Recommended to Michael by: Seth
Shelves: slipstream
A neat little pamphlet of a book that I would classify as hallucinogenic noir for the 21st century. Aylett is a master of simile. I'll be curious to see if his other books are as rich visually.
The wonderful world of detective noir meets reality bending writing. This book started me on Aylett quest that I have yet to end, I have everything he has written.
Stylish, quirky, fluffy, like maybe uh, fiber optic brillo pad for the moment! Had actually forgotten that I'd read it.
Monen mielestä hieno kirja ei valitettavasti avautunut minulle ollenkaan. Turhan nopeatempoinen.
Nov 02, 2007 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: detective novel fans
Shelves: sci-fi
This is what Noir is and should be. Dark and funny.
Matti Viren
Confusing from the very beginning
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Steve Aylett (b. 1967) is a satirical science fiction and slipstream author of several bizarro books. He is renowned for his colorful satire attacking the manipulations of authority, and for having reams of amusing epigrams and non-sequiturs only tangentially related to what little plot the books possess.

Aylett left school at age 17 and worked in a book warehouse, and later in law publishing.

More about Steve Aylett...
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