MJ Nicholls's Reviews > U.S.!

U.S.! by Chris Bachelder
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's review
Aug 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: novels, merkins
Read from August 17 to 20, 2010

Original Review:

Touching satire about poor old utopian socialist Upton Sinclair and his habit of being shot and resurrected by avid left-wingers intent on egalitarianism. Bachelder is a keen Barthesian and uses playful PoMo techniques, among them lists of Sinclair’s unreviewed Amazon books, items listed on ebay, and assorted epistolary games. The first half of the novel has no structure as such, merely following Sinclair as he battles his hopeless but noble cause. The second half of the novel is more purposeful, and riffs on the political thriller, taking the stock assassination scene to absurd heights (there are a dozen assassins attempting to kill Sinclair) during a Bradburyian book-burning. I can’t quite place the book’s politics since Bachelder takes the piss out of everyone and everything. So I suppose this is the perfect stocking-filler for the despairing political cynic in your life. See also Bear V. Shark.

Books Whose Titles Would Change Considerably With the Addition of an Exclamation Mark:

To Kill a Mockingbird!
Things Fall Apart!
Bleak House!
Poor Folk!
Crime & Punishment!
The Holy Bible!
The Murder of Kurt Cobain!
Malcolm X!
Wuthering Heights!
The Diary of a Young Girl!
Dead Souls!
The End of Everything!
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Reading Progress

08/17/2010 page 10
05/22/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Megha (new)

Megha Choke! sounds like you are urging someone to choke.

message 2: by Rod (new)

Rod You apparently don't know what a question mark is. That makes me cry 96 tears.

message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls Rod wrote: "You apparently don't know what a question mark is. That makes me cry 96 tears."

Oops. Fixed.

message 4: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich How about book titles made even more fitting with exclamation points?
Naked Lunch!

message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls I like, how about:
The Da Vinci Code!
Women and Men!

message 6: by David (new)

David Katzman Grapes of Wrath!
The Sound and the Fury!
The Handmaid's Tale!
Swann's Way!
Wake Up, Sir!!

That last one really got mixed up!

message 7: by Rod (new)

Rod [Insert book title here]!

message 8: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich To the Lighthouse!
A Wild Sheep Chase!
Thus Spoke Zarathustra!

message 9: by Yolande (last edited Sep 25, 2012 12:31AM) (new)

Yolande Les Misérables!

[... and queue multiple suicides]

message 10: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls Thanks! They all work really well! Except Rod! Shameless humbug!

message 11: by Rod (new)

Rod [Insert devastating retort here]

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