THE TIME OF NEW WEATHER IS AT HAND-AND IT'S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT.In this exhilarating adventure of absurdist wit, rollicking revolution and romance, the future isn't what it used to be and the past won't leave us alone. Bringing to mind1984 and Brave New World-but with his own twist of gleeful humor-award-winning author Sean Murphy presents a vision of an America gone off the rails: an America where it literally rains cats and dogs, where a hubcap ranch is now a National Preservation Site, where a horde of circus folk and Elvis fans are on the rampage-and where some rather suspicious things are going on with time and gravity
Murphy (Hope Valley Hubcap King, etc.) takes a dark, sardonic look into an apocalyptic future in his latest novel, a funny but flawed narrative about a young man who battles the totalitarian forces of the business world. Buddy LeBlanc was born in the Louisiana bayou, where magnetic storms disrupt the effects of gravity and force people to anchor themselves to the earth with Velcro. As he grows up, things only get stranger, and matters come to a head when a sprawling conglomerate announces that it has bought out the bankrupt U.S. government. Totalitarian changes begin immediately, forcing Buddy-who has a gift for performing minor miracles and has been touring with the circus-to join up with his brilliant love interest, journalist Rhonda Jefferson, and a band of ragtag malcontents know as the Dreamers to organize epic protests. Murphy's political and social satire consistently hits its targets, but his storytelling is often disorganized and chaotic-he introduces extraneous characters and convoluted, unnecessary subplots at a frenzied pace and gets bogged down in some lackluster side plots involving Buddy's family. This could have been a brilliant novel with more narrative focus, but the lack of a solid story line makes it more of a cult curio. Agent, Peter Rubie. (Dec. 28) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 27, 2004
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Excerpt from The Time of New Weather by Sean Murphy
The gravity storms worked like this: a minor fluctuation in the earth's increasingly unstable gravitational field would move through an area, much like any storm might, except that there was little notice; no clouds gathering along the horizon, no rumble of distant thunder to let people know it was coming. Some claimed they could feel the approach of these disturbances by the sense of lightness that entered their bones, as though their marrow was rising in its channels; doctors and scientists alike, however, tended to dispute this notion. For Buddy, the first clue was generally a rattle coming from a cupboard, or a piece of crockery left on the counter. Then he'd smell the dust.
It happened this way every time the dust, being the lightest element in the house, would rise from all the crevices where, despite Polly's thoroughness in cleaning, it had escaped her notice or reach. It lifted and spiraled from the floor; Buddy would smell it first, then look to the south windows of the living room to see it rising in the shafts of light like swirling smoke, and he'd know the storm was nearly upon them.
Then came the clatter of whatever was not fastened down: the silverware in its drawer, the china in its cabinets. Buddy might open a cabinet to find the cups and saucers nestled together against the bottom of the next shelf up. In the average American household, however, objects of larger size were routinely fastened down to some secure, stable surface. Beds, chairs, and couches were bolted to the floor. As for smaller items as Buddy's mother Polly put it after redoing their living room to make it "GS compatible," or gravity-safe"We live in a universe of Velcro."