The Good and the Ghastly
By James Boice
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781416575443, 277pp.)
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
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It’s the thirty-fourth century and the nuclear apocalypse has come and gone. Civilization has rebuilt itself, and the results are eerily similar to the early part of the twenty-first century. But there are a few notable differences. Visa owns everything. Deer are the most common domesticated animal. And misinterpretations of preapocalyptic history run amuck (e.g., Sarah Palin established the theory of natural selection). But what hasn’t changed is the nature of good and evil.
The Good and the Ghastly centers on two people linked through violence. Mobster Junior Alvarez has risen from street thug to criminal overlord. He will go to incredible lengths to get what he wants—and he desires to live however he pleases, without compromise. The intensity of his quest is matched only by that of the mother of one of Alvarez’s first victims. She has gone vigilante and is hunting down mobsters. The two are prepared to go to the ends of the earth to manifest their wills—one good, one ghastly, both ruthless.
A wild satire of our own society, The Good and the Ghastly is a visceral novel informed by Boice’s unnerving sense of reality and pathology. It is also an honest, old-fashioned good-versus-evil story—with a twist of modern-day madness.