Other Things You Should Read 6: Extinction Journals

I am going to build my own cockroach suit.

Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Extinction Journals begins with a true bizarro scenario: a man in a suit made of cockroaches accidentally devours the president, who is dressed in a suit made of twinkies. But by the end of the book, being dressed in a suit of cockroaches almost seems normal.

As the protagonist wanders through the bizarre, surreal landscape of post-apocalyptic America, he encounters other “survivors,” other people who saw what was coming and prepared: a woman in steel-toed boots and an iron apron, a man encased in cement, a man wearing his neighbor’s skin. The images in the book are sometimes serene, and other times haunting and nightmarish.

Its only fallback: the end of the book seems very rushed. It feels like a lot more should have been discussed, that there was a longer life to the story than is written. But despite the odd pacing, Johnson’s prose is graceful and clear and the book, up to the sweet, hopeful ending, is a brilliant read and well worth your time.

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About pterodactylsamurai

Author of Love in the Time of Dinosaurs (2010), Chiaroscuro (2009) and editor of Unicorn Knife Fight Webzine
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