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BRADLEY DENTON
Wrack And Roll


click to enlarge

Headline, London, 1986


The blurb on the back:

Murdered megastar Bitch Alice's last request: destroy the American space programme. Her Wracker followers did just that and changed the course of history.
Now her daughter, The Bastard Child, is out for vengeance. With the Music, the Power and her band, Blunt Instrument, she will start a concert tur to rock the world and push it over the brink - to sanity ... or apocalypse ...


Let's look at the bright side. The best thing about Wrack and Roll is its grasp of alternate history. We're asked to believe that Roosevelt choked to death back in 1933, with a consequent shift in political evolution: America allied itself with the Soviet Union to form a bloc against the Anglo-Chinese Alliance, a move that met with initial success, but collapsed in chaos in 1967 when the death on the Moon of rock star Bitch Alice precipitated riots that destroyed the entirety of the US space programme and handed technological dominance to Britain and China, whilst American society split into the Straights and the Wrackers... Or something like that.

See, I kinda like all that sort of thing. But unfortunately it's written in such a painful attempt at hip that it's unreadable, like a would-be cross between Hunter S Thompson and A Clockwork Orange. Get this, selected at random:

Bud poured more whiskey into Jackson's glass. 'I got no idea who you are, namewise. But you ain't no alum, 'cause you got an attitude toward this party like it was scrod, which it is. Ain't no dean, 'cause you ain't stickin' your tongue up no alum's crack. Ain't no up-and-comer, 'cause you're too old, and you couldn't afford to pull some of the shit I've been watchin' you pull with these jew-baiters. So you gotta be tenured, and the only way a tenured prof'd need to get so jackbugged would be if he'd fallen from grace.' (pp.32-33)

And so on, and so on. Together with chapter titles like 'Weirdo in a Weird Land' and 'Never Look a Gift Horse in the Wazoo', and song lyrics that fail to convince, it's all too much for me.

Life isn't long enough. Sorry.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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