Lee Konstantinou

Teoksen Pop Apocalypse: A Possible Satire tekijä

4+ Works 82 Jäsentä 5 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (2014) — Avustaja — 233 kappaletta
Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow (2019) — Avustaja — 56 kappaletta
The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace (2018) — Avustaja — 14 kappaletta

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New York City, New York, USA
San Francisco, California, USA
Bonnie Nadell
Lyhyt elämäkerta
"I was born in New York in 1978 to a pair of Greek immigrants. I spent the first twenty-one years of my life in New York and have been in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000."



it took about 100 pages before i got interested in anything the characters were doing, so it's a good thing that i'm the kind of person who will stick around for 100 pages. an extra star for occupied, earthquake-shaken, anarchistic san francisco.
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J.Flux | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 13, 2022 |
The Last Samurai Reread, by Lee Konstantinou, is the third book I've read in the Rereadings series and like the others it offers new (at least for me) perspectives on reading The Last Samurai.

There is one major difference for me with this volume and the other two in the series that I've read. I had read the novels discussed (Vineland and A Visit from the Goon Squad) in the other books multiple times while I have only read The Last Samurai once. If you are like me in this respect, then I think this book will be a wonderful read and will likely make you want to both reread (imagine that!) The Last Samurai as well as (re)visit Helen DeWitt's other work.

I don't yet know to what extent I am in agreement with some of Konstantinou's connections (within the work, between the work and DeWitt, or as a larger statement about society or the writing/publishing life) but I certainly find the case he makes compelling. Since I don't currently have a copy of DeWitt's book I am probably not going to be rereading it for several months, but I will have some of my notes from reading this book handy.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who has read The Last Samurai, no matter what your opinion of it is. This book sheds light on some things and makes connections you might not have considered. I don't recommend this to those who haven't read it, but I can't imagine too many people who haven't read it would pick up a book about rereading it. If you are by nature someone who rereads books on occasion, this is ideal for you.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
… (lisätietoja)
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pomo58 | Jun 22, 2022 |
It’s the near future. Money has been replaced by Reputation, which calculates a person’s net worth based on their popularity. The Christians are fighting the Muslims, everyone’s got a camera trying to record the next big thing and the world is about to come to an end.

Perhaps the author has a point with his “possible satire” qualifier in the title.

Lee Konstantinu looked into his crystal ball and pulled out “Pop Apocalypse: A Possible Satire.” The book follows Eliot R. Vandethorpe, a celebrity heir, from his ethical epiphany (he shouldn’t be having sex with passed-out teenagers on camera) all the way to his preventing Armageddon. Oh, and there’s a love story, too.

Everyone seems to be rooting for Armageddon, which in this reality involves a dispute between the Freedom Coalition (basically the American Empire) and the Caliphate (a Muslim-only version of the United Nations). The Armageddon looks to be very profitable for the Vandethorpe family, owners of a corporation that is essentially the facilitator of an omniscient Big Brother (in the Orwellian sense).

There really is far too much back-story and plot to squish into one review, so a summation will have to do. Essentially the story is the not-to-distant future, but with everyone’s attention focused oxymoronically both upon celebrities and themselves, to the exclusion of almost everything else.

The book was fairly enjoyable on the whole, though the satire unfortunately devolves into camp a few times throughout the novel. A few episodes in particular draw heavily upon the “I, Robot” school of engaging the audience.

But perhaps that’s being a bit harsh; after all, satire is but a mirror placed against our culture. Surely the best – or at least, the easiest – should be as close to indistinguishable from reality as possible.

“Pop Apocalypse” turns out to be what most of us wished “Idiocracy” was before we had the misfortune to watch it. Most of the people I spoke to before seeing “Idiocracy” expected it to be the comeuppance of the dumbing-down of American culture. What we got were sophomoric jokes that, if satiric, were so well-executed no one seemed to be able to tell.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy any artistic attempt to invigorate culture and attempt to shake it from its intellectual slumber. I just prefer it when the creators actually attempt something beyond the blindingly obvious and childishly simplistic. Though modern dystopian futures often sink to the lowest common denominator (even while mocking it), luckily for us Konstantinu manages to keep his wits about him throughout the book.

While I certainly don’t think “Pop Apocalypse” is intended as a prognostication of what is to come, the novel nonetheless offers a biting view at modern society. Not only do wars – invasions, as they’re known in this time – have their own theme music, but missions such as Operation Muscles in Brussels (the invasion of Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands) have copyrighted and trademarked everything from the name to video footage of the event.

This book is the perfect companion for those who stop every once in a while during the day and just gaze in wonderment at something everyone else takes for granted. Perhaps you’re wandering through the bookstore and see Kanye West (a self-described “non-reader”) listed as the co-author of a sub-100-page book. Maybe you’re struck dumb by the interior set of doors leading into the CUB – which have pull handles on both sides of the door, even though one side obviously requires a push.

If you sometimes pause in wonderment at the absurdities of everyday life, this is the book for you. It’s always nice to visit a place a little crazier than the one where you live.
… (lisätietoja)
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thoughtbox | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 28, 2016 |
I have narrow tolerances for if-this-goes-on satire, because mostly if this goes on I think we’re going to drown and/or starve, and for the first half of this book I thought that the over-the-top world of intellectual property claims (perpetrators of a terrorist act own the rights to it, make lots of money), capitalism (the Freedom Coalition invades places, including Berkeley, to make them safe for Milton Friedman official ideology with crony capitalism reality), and evangelical Christian end-times theology (the people in power in the US think they can win the apocalypse) was not going to do it for me at all. But the satire grew on me, and while I don’t think there’s any particular lesson in it on the dangers of extreme IP rights, extreme capitalism/industry capture, or extreme piety, I did ultimately enjoy the adventures of Eliot Vanderthorpe, wayward scion of the country’s most powerful family, drawn through a combination of stupidity and growing moral uncertainty into a plot that just might trigger global thermonuclear war.… (lisätietoja)
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rivkat | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 22, 2012 |



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½ 3.5

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