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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

S3 E17 - Fancy Suits


Outro S3 E17 – Grind

Alrighty then my apocalypse survivor friends…How are we doing on this fine day?

I am doing well. Can’t complain. For those of you time traveling through the pod-o-sphere alternate universe it is April 2023. And, here, in New England where I live the world has shrugged off its cloak of wintery sparseness. The ground burst forth with fecundity and we all climb, blinking from our holes to gaze in wonder at the warm sun.

We are coming to the end of Season 3 – this is episode 17. If you are just catching up, I do my best to drop an episode every 2 weeks. Things tend to get a bit more frantic towards the end of the season as we try to tie up plot lines and such. Life gets in the way one too many times and I start falling behind on my deliverables.

Luckily my editors and my voice actor pro are flexible and put up with my last-minute antics.

It’s really just math. If you look across the lifetime of any project the probability of lateness tends to stack, while the probability of earliness is constrained – i.e. you can only be so early but you can be infinitely late.

Explain that to your boss and see what happens.

I finished two books since we last talked.

The first one was a SciFi called “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” by David Wong in 2015.

David Wong is the pen name for Jason Pargin. Mr. Pargin is a prolific writer who was the executive editor of Cracked.com. You might know him from his 2007 novel “John Dies in the End” that was made into a movie starring Paul Giamatti.

The best way I can describe the style is a mashup of off-beat humor with other genres. And it’s a specific type of humor. Sort of like an absurdist/slacker humor. In John dies at the end it’s a mash up with the horror/paranormal genre. In Fancy Suits it’s a mashup with a sort of cyberpunk universe.

If you go into Suits with the idea that it’s a cyberpunk novel, you might be disappointed by the thick layer of absurdity you have to wade through to get to the plot. And, likewise, if you’re looking for a humor novel you might be offput by all the cyberpunk.

That’s the way with cross overs and mashups, you either hit a home run, like John dies at the end, or strike out by missing the mark with two demographics at the same time.

His comic timing is great. The main character is well-defined, and I appreciate the hero’s journey. The rest of the characters, especially the villain, are cardboard cutout caricatures.

I got a bit tired with it in the last 3rd of the book.

I give it a strong B and would recommend it as a book to read on vacation when you’re lying in a hammock with a hangover and don’t want too much work.

Speaking of hangovers, I also continued my journey into Ernest Hemmingway’s works by reading The Sun Also Rises.

Now, I really don’t have the Bona Fides to write a review of Hemmingway, but I’ll give you some impressions.

This was Hemmingway’s first novel. It was published in 1926. Hemmingway didn’t become the famous Hemmingway we all picture until the 1950’s. The Old Man and the Sea is 30 years later.

Like most first novels we see in this all of the things that Hemmingway would become famous for. The life of expatriate writers in Paris, the revivifying influence of trout fishing, and, of course, the bull fighting. Throughout this journey there is an un-voiced conversation with the reader about the definition of masculinity.

And, yes, there is that sparse, clean, powerful prose that became the revolutionary Hemmingway hallmark. It’s not just the short sentences and plain words. It’s the power of what is left unsaid. It is the embellishment of sentences to depict the passage of time and emotion without overt exposition.

It is the power of the moment of silence. There is no wasted ink.

Unlike Fancy Suits, you need to be sober and aware to read Hemmingway, it takes consideration and a bit of work. Not that it is difficult to read, it isn’t, it’s just that to get the full measure of it you need to read slowly and chew on it a bit.

It requires attention.

I loved it.

I will be continuing my Hemmingway retrospective and I will bore you with it all!

Even removed by 100 years the theme of the lost generation is still important and current. And you might, just might, have heard some echoes of the great man’s styling creep into this episode.

So – My survivor friends – that’s it for me.

Come over and join us on Facebook, search for After the Apocalypse and join the group. We’ve got 331 members as of this morning and they are talking about their favorite zombie movies.

You can see all these articles posted with links on the website oldmanapocalypse.com

If you want to help the show you can contribute cash there, and please take a moment to like on your podcast app and share to your friends and enemies and those people you are not quite sure of but need to keep an eye on.

If any of you would like to contribute a story to our story contest – feel free to reach out to me.

If you know any other podcasts that I could do a promotional share with – also let me know.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and, repeat after me “No matter what happens we will handle it” – And keep surviving.


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