A Novel

Book - 2007
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Jamestown chronicles a group of "settlers" (more like survivors) from the ravaged island of Manhattan, departing just as the Chrysler Building has mysteriously plummeted to the earth. This ragged band is heading down what's left of I-95 in a half-school bus, half-Millennium Falcon. Their goal is to establish an outpost in southern Virginia, find oil, and exploit the Indians controlling the area. Based on actual accounts of the Jamestown settlement from 1607 to 1617, Jamestown features historical characters including John Smith, Pocahontas, and others enacting an imaginative re-version of life in the pioneer colony. In this retelling, Pocahontas's father Powhatan is half-Falstaff, half-Henry V, while his consigliere is a psychiatrist named Sidney Feingold. John Martin gradually loses body parts in a series of violent encounters, and John Smith is a ruthless and pragmatic redhead continually undermining the aristocratic leadership. Communication isby text-messaging, IMing, and, ultimately, telepathy. Punctuated by jokes, rhymes, "rim shot" dialogue, and bloody black-comic tableaux, Jamestown is a trenchant commentary on America's past and present that confirms Matthew Sharpe's status as a major talent in contemporary fiction.
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY : Soft Skull Press, 2007
ISBN: 9781933368603
Branch Call Number: FICTION Sharpe
Characteristics: 327 p. ; 24 cm


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Mar 20, 2016

Dude, what if America's first colony was, like, in the not too distant, dystopiaan future? Wouldn't that be tight? I was a little intrigued and a little annoyed by the premise, although I am a fan of dystopias, which are so hot right now ("Station Eleven," "California," "Mad Max"). It's a "literary" take on end of the world stuff that's neither funny nor well-written. It tries to be transgressive, but does so in a really obvious way. There are characters based on Pocahontas, John Smith, John Rolfe (Pocahontas' husband), and Powhatan. It was pretty lame dude.


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