I never go on vacation without taking along at least a couple of books to read. This past weekend, when we went Up North, was no different.
I brought along two short story collections and two novels. But then one day Colleen and I went into Petosky and hit the bookstore while we were there. Colleen wanted something to read, in addition to the stuff she wanted to read for work.
I recommended Into the Woods, by Tana French.
Not because I’d read it but because several of the librarians where I work couldn’t stop praising it. This novel has been getting a lot of buzz, along with her follow up, The Likeness.
I, however, was not planning on getting a book for myself. I don’t often buy books anymore. And I don’t really need to be in the market for a book to browse a bookstore. I just like doing it. But in this case I did buy a book — Severance Package by Duane Swierczynsky. Something about the cover really caught my eye.
It was pulpy and sexy, and kind of comic book-ey. But then I read the little synopsis on the back. And I knew instantly that I was holding a Generation X piece of fiction. GenX pulp fiction, to be precise. Just check one of the blurbs on the back that reads;
“Begs for the next Tarintino to direct.” — Booklist on Severance Package.
Shit. That says it all.
More to the GenX point, the story is about a bunch of employees for a front company that does intelligence work for the government that are called into work one day on a Saturday only to learn that they are being eliminated, by which I mean killed, not just laid off or fired or downsized or whatever the fuck corporate America is calling it these days. The set up includes strong distrust of corporate America as well as the US Government. And it satirizes the corporate climber as soulless psychopathic killer. This, in addition, to enough pop culture references, including at least one Star Wars, is plenty of evidence to cal this cool book a GenX work of fiction. Perhaps not literature in the highest sense of the word, but so fucking what.
I haven’t finished reading it yet, but will no doubt plow through the remainder tonight and tomorrow.