Random Acts of Senseless Violence

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9780871135773: Random Acts of Senseless Violence

In the future, as Manhattan descends into chaos and poverty threatens her family, twelve-year-old Lola Hart is forced to trade her past life of privilege for life in Harlem, where she begins a terrible metamorphosis. 20,000 first printing.

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From the Inside Flap:

With his vivid, stylized prose, cyberpunk intensity, and seemingly limitless imagination, Jack Womack has been compared to both William Gibson and Kurt Vonnegut. Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Womack's fifth novel, is a thrilling, hysterical, and eerily disturbing piece of work.

Lola Hart is an ordinary twelve-year-old girl. She comes from a comfortable family, attends an exclusive private school, loves her friends Lori and Katherine, teases her sister Boob. But in the increasingly troubled city where she lives (a near-future Manhattan) she is a dying breed. Riots, fire, TB outbreaks, roaming gangs, and civil unrest threaten her way of life, as well as the very fabric of New York City. In her diary, Lola chronicles the changes she and her family make as they attempt to adjust to a city, and a country, that is spinning out of control.

Her mother is a teacher, but no one is hiring. Her father is a writer, but no one is buying his scripts. Hounded by creditors and forced to vacate their apartment and move to Harlem, her family, and her life, begins to dissolve. Increasingly estranged from her privileged school friends, Lola soon makes new ones: Iz, Jude, and Weezie--wise veterans of the street who know what must be done in order to survive. And the metamorphosis of Lola Hart, surrounded by the new language and violence of the streets, begins.

Simultaneously chilling and darkly hilarious, Random Acts of Senseless Violence takes the jittery urban fears we suppress, both in fiction and in daily life, and makes them explicit-and explicitly terrifying. Paying meticulous attention to the evolving rhythm and syntax of speech, and their alliance with class and race, Womack demonstrates that woven into the mutable nature of language are clues to the dark and shifting potentials for the future of the society in which we live.

"Fascinating and well written...wonderfully inventive.... Mr. Womack's New York has a constant punk-rocker violence, which unwinds with a deadpan humor."--The New York Times

"Proceeded by a series of electric jolts, as though in narrative fits, Womack's Random Acts of Senseless Violence erects a video-tombstone for civilization, lit by flashes of blue lightning.... The only consolation comes from Womack's neon prose. It is enough to light up a world gone dark and mad."--The Times (London)

"One of the most moving and heart-breaking novels of the year."--Publishers Weekly, Best Books '94

"The central strength of Womack's arsenal is an ability to fracture the language of the late twentieth century into vicious shards that wound us in unexpected ways."--William Gibson

"With a street-slick future-speak worthy of A Clockwork Orange and an unflinching eye for the degeneration of our cities, Womack portrays a relentlessly convincing tomorrow that will leave no reader unmoved."--Publishers Weekly

"Womack...performs feats of brilliance on many levels here. He succeeds in balancing blistering social commentary with shrewd literary experimentation in a heartrending coming-of-age story. Flecked with black humor, this is speculative fiction at its eerie best."--Entertainment Weekly

Jack Womack is the author of Let's Put the Future Behind Us, Ambient, Terraplane, Heathern, and Elvissey, which won the Philip K. Dick Award. His short fiction has appeared in Omni as well as various anthologies, and his journalism has appeared in Spin.

From the Back Cover:

With his vivid, stylized prose, cyberpunk intensity, and seemingly limitless imagination, Jack Womack has been compared to both William Gibson and Kurt Vonnegut - though Gibson admits, "If you dropped the characters from Neuromancer into Womack's Manhattan, they'd fall down screaming and have nervous breakdowns". Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Womack's fifth novel, is a thrilling, hysterical, and eerily disturbing piece ot work. Lola Hart is an ordinary twelve-year-old girl. She comes from a comfortable family, attends an exclusive private school, loves her friends Lori and Katherine, teases her sister Boob. But in the increasingly troubled city where she lives (a near-future Manhattan) she is a dying breed. Riots, fire, TB outbreaks, roaming gangs, increasing inflation, political and civil unrest all threaten her way of life, as well as the very fabric of New York City. In her diary, Lola chronicles the changes she and her family make as they attempt to adjust to a city, and a country, that is spinning out of control. Her mother is a teacher, but no one is hiring. Her father is a writer, but no one is buying his scripts. Hounded by creditors and forced to vacate their apartment and move to Harlem, her family, and her life, begins to dissolve. Increasingly estranged from her privileged school friends, Lola soon makes new ones: Iz, Jude, and Weezie - wise veterans of the street who know what must be done in order to survive and are more than willing to do it. And the metamorphosis of Lola Hart, who is surrounded by the new language and violence of the streets, begins. Simultaneously chilling and darkly hilarious, Random Acts of Senseless Violence takes the jittery urban fears wesuppress, both in fiction and in daily life, and makes them explicit - and explicitly terrifying. Paying meticulous attention to the evolving rhythm and syntax of speech, and their alliance with class and race, Womack demonstrates that woven into the mutable nature of language are clues to the dark and shifting potentials for the future of the society in which we live.

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