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Apocalypse Now Now (Apocalypse Now Now #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  907 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. He’s making a name for himself as the kingpin of his smut-peddling high-school syndicate, the other gangs are staying out of his business, 
and he’s dating the girl of his dreams, Esme. 

But when Esme gets kidnapped, things start to get seriously weird, and the only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural boun
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Titan Books (first published July 8th 2013)
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Having loved the proof-of-concept short film that was made for Apocalypse Now Now earlier this year, I was keen to check out the original, though it's not the sort of thing that would usually pique my interest (South African setting aside). It started really well, and I loved Baxter Zevcenko immediately, even if he did feel a lot more like an adult's idea of a teenage boy than an actual 16-year-old. The early chapters about life in Cape Town and high school gang wars were by far the most engagin ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Baxter Zevcenko is your typical teenage schoolboy. You know the type - make out with your girlfriend as much as possible, beat your retarded brother up when your mother isn't watching, make the teachers cry and have panic attacks, sell hardcore pornography to your schoolmates, the usual. Then one day his girlfriend goes missing and he is the prime suspect because he has these "urges", and that's when he gets introduced to a seriously weird supernatural world.

In some respects this story reminded
Michael Hicks
My original Apocalypse Now Now audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Charlie Human’s Apocalypse Now Now is a wonderfully trippy and complex work of South African urban fantasy. The plotting is labyrinthine, drawing in a number of details that make this world feel rather expansive – there’s a serial killer dubbed The Mountain Man, who leaves a third eye carved into his victim’s foreheads, high school gang wars and underground criminal enterprises, family trouble, and
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is like young Harry Dresden, washed through Cape Town rather than Chicago. It's kind of a Hard-YA, but that doesn't bother me. I had a lot of fun.

At times, this felt just the tiniest bit amateurish, but I won't hold it against him. Looking forward to Kill Baxter, but I'll wait till I can get the SA edition.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book free on Goodreads as a giveaway but my review is not influenced by this.

I thought that the premise of the overall story is very interesting kind of similar in style to Shutter Island but original too. the lead character Baxter was witty and amusing and I enjoyed the book a lot from two thirds of the way in. The first section of the book was mostly scene setting and not greatly amusing for me personally but I am glad that I persevered as it has a good end and the confusion of the
Anna Kļaviņa
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Nazish
Shelves: africa
Apocalypse Now Now is fast paced urban fantasy set in South Africa.

Look at that pretty cover. ♥_♥

The cover of the book, with its sensual juju wildness that suggested a Reservoir dog-ish underworld drama and nutty supernatural and somewhat bizarre fantastical characters, leapt out of the book and dragged me headfirst into it. All eagerness bound, I was expecting much violence and gore and also some titillating imagery and I'm glad to say that I wasn't disappointed. However, all that expectations aside, the twists in the story were like a rollercoaster ride, you had to strap on and hold on ti ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Full Review at Tenacious Reader:

This was a book that intertwined things I absolutely loved with elements that kind of pushed my tolerance limits for weirdness. It created a dichotomy for me while reading. Dark humor. Yes, there were so many lines in this that had me laughing out loud and feeling like I absolutely loved the book. Then it would switch and I would focus on the strangeness in this story, and I would be less sure. Some of the weird worked well
Oh man, I don't know. There were some really cool ideas here, and the writing is snarky and pop-cultury, but I just couldn't STAND the little prick. I read this for the "A book by an author from Africa" part of the 2015 Read Harder challenge, and that was actually the thing I enjoyed most about the book. The South African mythology and creature-lore that comes up is completely fascinating, and it made me curious to check out more Urban Fantasy from this background. But the story itself, and it's ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Unfortunately the title is the best thing about this book. I wanted to love it, but I couldn't: it's riddled with plausibility problems (forget the supernatural stuff, I mean basic human behaviour) and beyond flimsy plotting. It's full of gaming references and that is what it most reminded me of – an RPG in which events follow, not so much true life logic, as the bare minimum of logic required to point players toward the next big action fest. Nobody in this book ever needed to be convinced of an ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"İyi misin?" diye seslendi Ronin. "Kalp krizinden ölmeni istemiyorum."
"Ben de bir puşt olduğun için seni vuran ilk müşterin olmak istemiyorum."
Anders Lövgren
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About the dwarven mercenaries fighting: "It's like watching Swan Lake performed to Swedish death metal". Need I say more?
Evička de Blois
Kdyby v knížce byly rozhovory, které zřejmě chtěly být vtipné, zábavné, tak by to byla příjemná oddychovka. Nicméně, byla to akorát oddychovka - ne nepříjemná, nicméně už teď mi spousta dějových míst vypadlo z hlavy a co nevidět zapomenu i postavy a pevně věřím !DOUFÁM! , že velice brzy z hlavy vypustím i celou dějovou linku z puberťáckého ghetta. Mám na většinu příběhů z ghetta averzi a tady to byla taky hrůza.
Pozitivní však je, že jsem si mohla vytvořit poličku na Jihoafrickou republiku! Přeji
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kill Baxter'ı sabırsızlıkla bekliyorum.
Always Reading
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Eigentlich läuft für den 16-jährigen Baxter gerade alles rund. Sein kleines Pornobusiness an der Highschool boomt, die Eltern lassen ihn in Frieden, und er ist über beide Ohren in die zauberhafte Kleptomanin Esmé verliebt. Doch als diese von einem wahnsinnigen Serienmörder entführt wird, laufen die Dinge aus dem Ruder. Zusammen mit dem Kopfgeldjäger Jackie Ronin macht Baxter sich auf die Suche nach ihr und entdeckt hinter dem gewöhnlichen Alltag von Kapstadt eine Schattenwelt der Ungeheuer
Paul Spence
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Human’s Apocalypse Now Now is a wonderfully trippy and complex work of South African urban fantasy. The plotting is labyrinthine, drawing in a number of details that make this world feel rather expansive – there’s a serial killer dubbed The Mountain Man, who leaves a third eye carved into his victim’s foreheads, high school gang wars and underground criminal enterprises, family trouble, and concerns over psychological health – all on top of a healthy dose of supernatural elements. In sho ...more
James Woolley
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly a fucking hilarious book, especially if you are into South Africa. I definitely suggest reading it, it's like James Patterson wrote the offspring of the lemonade wars and rick and morty the book and if lemonade wars was crass as fuck. Except it actually has a storyline. Unlike all of Pattersons other books.

Rereading this review I realize how weird I sound. (So perfectly normal)
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Un urban-fantasy che mescola cultura pop, folklore sudafricano e sovrannaturale, e nel quale i confini della realtà non sono mai del tutto chiari. Si è rivelato una lettura divertente e surreale, peccato solo per il finale un po' forzato.
Ruth Browne
Review for the Cape Times 28/09/13

Speculative fiction is taking off in South Africa, and Charlie Human's debut is a shot of adrenaline for the genre. African cyberpunk in the pulp magazine Jungle Jim, Sarah Lotz's visions of the undead, the volatile mix of urban fantasy, sci-fi and Safa-slang in Laurne Beukes' Moxyland and Zoo City: all these gather under the umbrella of “speculative” fiction, and our young and agitated democracy is the perfect springboard for the imagination. Whilst being cheer
Nerine Dorman
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Apocalypse Now Now, we discover right from the opening chapter that Baxter Zevcenko is, to put it mildly, not a very nice boy. At the tender age of 16, he is already a porn-peddling kingpin involved with school gangs, and he’s quite unapologetic about his calling in life. In his mind, everything’s perfect. He has enough cash, he’s manipulating others to do what he wants them to, and he has a hot girlfriend, Esmé.

Of course this is where everything starts to go south. It begins with the threat
Zoe Brooks
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-realism
Hey this book is great fun. The book starts very realistically, but once it enters the alternative world it stays there. I can see why the comparison has been made between the author and Neil Gaiman. Gaiman's books are at the far edge of magic realism, where magic realism and fantasy overlap. Both authors have a strain of humour which runs through their books. Charlie Human has some wonderful one-liners: Magic is S&M without a safe-word and His face has the texture of an old loofah. Like G ...more
Baxter Zevcenko is your average, Holden-Caulfield-esque sixteen-year-old: he's suffering from oddly realistic nightmares of the Boer wars, lying to his psychiatrist, and running a successful porn syndicate out of his high school. Well, perhaps not so average. And that's even before his Ramona Flowers of a girlfriend is kidnapped, he's accused of being a serial killer, and the gang wars at his school take a turn for the heavily armed. A little casual violence and one alcoholic magical bounty hunt ...more
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
This interesting story is set in Cape Town, South Africa. Baxter Zevcenko goes to high school where gangs dealing in drugs, pornography etc. are at war. He happens to the be the leader of the porn gang that is slowly making a name for themselves. But when his girlfriend gets kidnapped and he starts looking for her, a dark and dangerous world of the underground paranormal opens up for him. And what he finds will blow your mind.

I loved how so many South African words, mythology and history is inco
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-books
The first thing I noticed about this book is the smug look on the guy's face on the cover of the book heavily silhouetted with splashes of red here and there and a red eye drawn above his glasses. Honestly the first thing I thought of a young Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion Looking further into the book though I found it was not about the end of the world per say but more about a young man named Baxter who leads a group that sells pornographic materials to other students in their school ...more
Waqas Mhd
i admit i succumbed to the hype, and the tagline "Neil Gaiman meets Tarantino…" was the driving force. so i had to buy it. a paperback version (which also has a brilliant artwork)

lets start by dissecting the tagline. although it says neil gaiman meets tarantino which means i should feel home reading it, but it's really different from what I would normally read.

I could see why this reference was made and its more on Tarantino side i.e. violence/gore than Neil. it started to feel like Gaiman towa
Gian Quinones-Castillo
I love this story, the characters, beasts, and mythology!
The pace was great! So was everything else!
I love Baxter, mostly because I feel like he is somewhat relatable in my opinion.
I enjoyed all the characters in this story, they are very enjoyable, and extremely interesting.
The deep thoughts and conversations, and the deaths that took place in this book really took a strong jab to my heart.
The story is amazing, and the plot twist is juicy, juicy,
Graham Crawford
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant first novel that hooks you in from the first paragraph. The first person teen narrator has the smart mouth of a Veronica Mars or Buffy at their best, but with a dirtier twist. There's drugs, monster porn and pre-op supernatural trannies on illegal dwarf hormones - and that's just the good guys. These sorts of urban fantasies need a darker hook to rise above the teeming mass of formulaic novels in the genre. The Cape Town environment provides this with it's nasty history of genocides ...more
Ellipsis Ampersand
It's been a LONG LONG LONNG road Bax.

I had so much hope for this one. Any mention of Neil Gaiman and i'm sold. Started pretty basic, setting the characters, world basic plot but then things got WEIRD for both Bax and I. Mythology, Magic and The Occult....i was digging it but then things got slow and i lost interest. Losing interest in a book is usually the end all be all for me, after losing interest i rarely find the urge to pick the book back again. That's why I give myself a week to read a bo
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pissed me off from the first page: being from the City, especially having attended the exact High School named in this story, I was unhappy with the logistical inaccuracies within the book. Okay: I just deleted half a page worth of vituperous diatribe, because ultimately I enjoyed the novel.

If not for Ronin, the book would have made it onto my 'not worth reading' shelf, but he managed to save the story and even make it enjoyable. Not a genre I usually read, but I'm glad I made this det
Stefan Fergus
This is a fantastic debut. I've said elsewhere that there is a Hunter Thompson-quality to Human's prose, and it's maintained throughout. There are a lot of great, original twists on genre tropes, the South African flavour is absolutely welcome and excellently portrayed. It's funny, shocking. Addictive, and engrossing. Incredible debut.

Full, proper review closer to release, over on Civilian Reader.
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“The world is as I always intuited it to be: weird, fractured and full of monsters.” 9 likes
“In the end, we’re all just victims of our perceptions.” 4 likes
More quotes…