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Angel Dust Apocalypse
 
 

Angel Dust Apocalypse [Kindle Edition]

Jeremy Robert Johnson , Stephen Graham Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

NEW 2012 AUTHOR'S PREFERRED EDITION available only in this digital format!

"A dazzling writer. Seriously amazing short stories--and I love short stories. Like the best of Tobias Wolff. While I read them, they made time stand still. That's great."--CHUCK PALAHNIUK, author of Fight Club

Meth-heads, man-made monsters, and murderous Neo-Nazis. Blissed out club kids dying at the speed of sound. The un-dead and the very soon-to-be-dead. They're all here, trying to claw their way free.

From the radioactive streets of a war-scarred future, where the nuclear bombs have become self-aware, to the fallow fields of Nebraska where the kids are mainlining lightning bugs, this is a world both alien and intensely human. This is a place where self-discovery involves scalpels and horse tranquilizers; where the doctors are more doped-up than the patients; where obsessive-compulsive acid-freaks have unlocked the gateway to God and can't close the door.

This is not a safe place. You can turn back now, or you can head straight into the heart of...

the ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE

From the Inside Flap

"A dazzling writer. Seriously amazing short stories- and I love short stories. Like the best of Tobias Wolff. While I read them, they made time stand still. That's great." — CHUCK PALAHNIUK, author of Fight Club and Haunted

"Admirably devious, laugh-out-loud sick, and shockingly smart, Jeremy Robert Johnson blew me away with Angel Dust Apocalypse. Johnson's verve for the surreal is high-octane: he burrows down deep into the twisted pathologies of his characters with the reckless abandon of a greased pig squealing down the pipings of a carnival slide. His writing is ferocious and fearless...and though it reminded me of a whole school of dark visionaries, it's truly in a league all its own. It's been awhile since I read something that actually made me do a double take, but this book had me reading passages over and over again, marveling over the ingenuity, chuckling over the inventiveness, and standing in awe of the sheer guts it takes to write like this. Angel Dust Apocalypse is a dark, imaginative treasure — sophisticated, disturbing, witty, and refreshingly twisted. Surrealist horror — absurdist excess — and pure postmodern fun. You absolutely must read this book right away. It'll change you in a way you couldn't imagine." — MICHAEL A. ARNZEN, author of 100 Jolts and Play Dead

"He's one of the freshest, weirdest writers out there right now, and he's just getting started." — ALAN M. CLARK, author/illustrator of The Paint in My Blood

"In one inky scream Jeremy Robert Johnson has established himself as a virtuoso counterculture voice that must be heard. Listen to his siren song with bleeding ears and smile like a lipless wonder, like a marathon masturbator, like a sentient plague. You are guaranteed to enjoy this finely orchestrated literary Armageddon." — JOHN EDWARD LAWSON, author of Last Burn in Hell


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 457 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Swallowdown Press (5 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AJVBKMW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #243,215 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jeremy Robert Johnson is the Bizarro author of WE LIVE INSIDE YOU, the cult hit ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE, the Stoker Nominated novel SIREN PROMISED (w/Alan M. Clark), and the end-of-the-world freak-out EXTINCTION JOURNALS. His fiction has been acclaimed by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk and has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. In 2008 he worked with The Mars Volta to tell the story behind their Grammy Winning album The Bedlam in Goliath. He also runs indie publishing house Swallowdown Press and is at work on a host of new books. For more information you can access his techno-web presence at the cleverly-named www.jeremyrobertjohnson.com.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Though I do enjoy novels, I get the most enjoyment when I can engross myself in an entire story from start to finish in one sitting, and yet still be able to return to the author's world at a later time.

With that in mind, it says a lot about the addictive quality of Johnson's writing when I found myself taking in all 18 stories in Angel Dust Apocalypse in only two sittings-granted, I read about 12 of them while on a two-hour train ride to New York one evening, but hey, usually I just sleep.

The unifying factors of the stories in ADA are the surreality of the world in which the characters live and the relentlessness with which Johnson explores the individual psyches of his subjects. Though the majority of the circumstances and settings in these shorts are purely fictitious-even other-worldly-the qualities exposed are pure and concentrated doses of the darkest aspects of humanity that we ourselves are rarely brave enough to face up to. Johnson revels in turning inside-out our innate desire to mask our carnality and brutality.

The best example of Johnson's sinister mutilation of morality is in eleventh piece, entitled "Saturn's Game." The story starts like this: "You could bite Todd's nose off. That's the thought at the back of my head. That's the thought I ignore. I squelch the sinister sentiment and refocus on my friend."

The first time I read that opener I knew I was in for trouble. In the ADA author's notes, Johnson explains himself by stating, "C'mon, you know you've had thoughts like this guy. Someone once told me that there's no such thing as morality, and that it was just a social construct to eliminate a person's willingness to do hideous things. Or maybe I just made that up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor and read ADA. 14 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Jeremy Robert Johnson's Angel Dust Apocalypse is one of the best works of fiction I have ever read. The stories are stunningly dark and weird, grotesque and very funny. Rarely have I read a book that transcends genre so well.

My favorite stories off of the collection are:

The League Of Zeroes - A great gross-out opener for the collection. Could be visionary. Wait and see.

Stanley's Lips - Totally relatable thus genuinely scary.

Snowfall - Hands down my favorite. I particularly found the descriptions stellar; beautiful in a very dark way. Very clever writing that was reminiscent of Stephen King, Night Shift era.

Priapism - A story about a very special type of punishment. I did not see it coming.

Luminary - This is the kind of story that I love the most. Heartbreaking, bizarre and beautiful piece about brotherly love.

Saturn's Game - "C'mon, you know you've had bad thoughts like this guy". Most definitely Mr. Johnson. Call me psycho but I definitely have.

Sparklers Burning - This genre-bending piece weirded me out hardcore. I dig the 'Videodrome' reference.

Last Thoughts Drifting Down - The first adjective that comes to mind is : Fascinating. I am fascinated by the imaginative skills of Jeremy Robert Johnson. KABOOM!

You don't come across talented and exciting writers like Jeremy Robert Johnson very often these days. This is a book that made me feel like savoring it by the words it discloses. Which I did, twice! And I will read it again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  90 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous, horrifying, and smart -- a fantastic read 27 May 2005
By Jackson Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Though I do enjoy novels, I get the most enjoyment when I can engross myself in an entire story from start to finish in one sitting, and yet still be able to return to the author's world at a later time.

With that in mind, it says a lot about the addictive quality of Johnson's writing when I found myself taking in all 18 stories in Angel Dust Apocalypse in only two sittings-granted, I read about 12 of them while on a two-hour train ride to New York one evening, but hey, usually I just sleep.

The unifying factors of the stories in ADA are the surreality of the world in which the characters live and the relentlessness with which Johnson explores the individual psyches of his subjects. Though the majority of the circumstances and settings in these shorts are purely fictitious-even other-worldly-the qualities exposed are pure and concentrated doses of the darkest aspects of humanity that we ourselves are rarely brave enough to face up to. Johnson revels in turning inside-out our innate desire to mask our carnality and brutality.

The best example of Johnson's sinister mutilation of morality is in eleventh piece, entitled "Saturn's Game." The story starts like this: "You could bite Todd's nose off. That's the thought at the back of my head. That's the thought I ignore. I squelch the sinister sentiment and refocus on my friend."

The first time I read that opener I knew I was in for trouble. In the ADA author's notes, Johnson explains himself by stating, "C'mon, you know you've had thoughts like this guy. Someone once told me that there's no such thing as morality, and that it was just a social construct to eliminate a person's willingness to do hideous things. Or maybe I just made that up." Even in his damn author's notes, Johnson makes the reader laugh, cringe...and self-consciously examine himself. So, in regards to myself, have I had thoughts like this? ...No comment. (Well played, Mr. Johnson. Checkmate.)

In its most twisted moments, Johnson's writing (like fellow Portland, Oregon resident Chuck Palahniuk) is too gleeful to pigeon-hole as strictly "horror," and when he steps outside the gross-out game, he transcends most other straight literary writers.

For instance, "Swimming in the House of the Sea" is one of the longest and most poignant stories of ADA. It centers around a 21-year-old, Wolf, and his mentally handicapped brother (who has an even stranger name, "Dude"). Wolf is an obvious loser who lives lazily on his mother's coin in exchange for shuttling Dude back and forth along the California coast between his flaky divorced hippie parents. On one such trip, Wolf's car breaks down in Bakersfield, and the brothers must spend the night in a hotel where Wolf's attempt to relax in the swimming pool is constantly interrupted by antagonists. After a tense confrontation with a hotel guest that brings to mind Holden Caulfield's run-in with the pimp in Catcher In The Rye, the reversal of roles between brothers causes Wolf to reconsider his cynical view of Dude. It is among the most touching stories I've read by any author, amazing for a piece of work that begins with the sentence, "The retard is finally asleep, which is great because now I can head down to the hotel swimming pool and relax."

For all the horror, gore, disembowelments, touching stories of sibling love, and science fiction oddities that are crammed into the pages of Angel Dust Apocalypse, there is one super-short story that stuck with me more than any other: "Branded," a one-and-a-half-page story that relates the thoughts of a male narrator as he reluctantly performs oral sex on his new girlfriend, "to initiate a sort of deepening of our relationship." The reluctance is caused by his discovery of a horrible, "raised, ropy-white and red-rimmed" scar on the inside of her thigh that is in "the exact shape of the McDonald's logo." So what thoughts invade the imagination of the narrator as he performs cunnilingus? The taste of "fancy ketchup," "Grimace and the Hamburgler," "the killing floor for McDonald's Inc." Disgusting, even ridiculously juvenile, you might think as you read this story. Then Johnson ends it abruptly with a stab to the heart that defines the callous and shallow nature of so many people, and so many relationships: "She was a wonderful human being, with a laugh that you'd want to hear at the gates of heaven. And I am weak for leaving her."

Amidst all the material in ADA are two classic short stories that originally saw print in Verbicide, the tale of "body modification royalty" entitled "The League of Zeroes" (from Verbicide issue 11), and the simple, Bradbury-esque tale of the apocalypse as seen through the eyes of a deaf young boy, "Snowfall" (from Verbicide issue 13).

Angel Dust Apocalypse is a nice length; at 180 pages it's what you could consider a "companion book," to be brought along in your rucksack on a road trip alongside your Henry Millers and your Hunter S. Thompsons- the perfect amount of short stories to keep the reader engaged through an initial reading, yet eager to pick it off the shelf again in the future. ADA is every bit as smart as it is gut-churning, and every bit as moving and introspective as it is horrifying and humorous. Is Jeremy Robert Johnson the next big thing? I can only hope that people will catch on. If he can keep it up, Johnson will surely earn a place as a classic voice of the contemporary counter-culture.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Generation of Horror 27 April 2006
By DED - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Back in the 80's, Stephen King proclaimed, "I have seen the future of horror... and his name is Clive Barker." Well, there was some good stuff there ("Books of Blood", "The Inhuman Condition") but I lost interest after "The Damnation Game", not that it wasn't a good book. I didn't have any money for any books other than textbooks back then. But I digress....

I think that King was a bit premature in naming his successor. Now that 20 years have passed, he might reconsider that pronouncement and check out Jeremy Robert Johnson. Maybe he can refer to JRJ as the "next generation" of horror so that Clive can keep his title.

I found out about "Angel Dust Apocalypse" from Girl on Demands' blog POD-dy Mouth. She nominated it for a 2005 "Needle Award", her best-of-the-POD's award (POD stands for Print On Demand, a popular means of self-publishing for individuals and small presses). After reading her review, I was convinced that it was worth checking out... and I was not disappointed.

ADA, published by Eraserhead Press, is an excellent collection of short stories. JRJ has an uncanny way of getting inside the heads of his characters to reveal just how screwed up they are. I'm reminded of Lovecraft, not in an imitative way like Derleth, but more evocative in that his essence seeps into the way JRJ narrates from the main character's POV. Whereas Lovecraft dealt in cyclopean horrors and things-that-should-not-be, JRJ shows us the horrors of pharmacopeia, biotech, and neurological damage. He bring us inside the minds of these damaged (well, most of them were) individuals and show us, quite rationally, the method to their madness.

The opening story, "The League of Zeroes", extrapolates a future where body piercing and cosmetic surgery come together to make your daughter's eyebrow piercing seem quaint.

"Dissociative Skills" redefines "self-discovery" with the help of Special K and a scalpel.

"Working At Home" makes you wonder what's really going on in those biotech companies. Squeamish readers will wish JRJ hadn't thought about it. It reminded me of a certain King short story about worms from space, though JRJ's are genetically engineered.

Nuclear holocaust is visited in the hauntingly beautiful "Snowfall", the darkly humorous "The Sharp Dressed Man at the End of the Line," and the literary "Last Thoughts Drifting Down."

The book ends with "Wall of Sound", a trio of ill-fated drug tales where the main characters push the limits of drug exposure. JRJ doesn't glorify their experiences. He straps us in to their minds as we ride rollercoasters of synaptic overload. He may not be preaching "Just Say No, Kiddies", but anyone reading these tales of rave drug use gone bad will reconsider popping that pill or placing that tab on their tongue.

I'm purposely leaving out many other good stories (like "Luminary") so that I don't spoil it any further for you. He's good! If you like horror, or even bizzare fiction, you should check him out. "Siren Promised", a novel he co-wrote with Alan Clark, has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for best first novel. Isn't that enough of a reason right there?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Short Stories 26 Dec 2005
By Jason Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book reluctantly, because I am not fond of short stories. I am more of a novel reader. However, I was amazed at these short stories. What struck me was what Jeremy Robert Johnson knew what not to write. His stories didn't seem different for the sake of being different. He didn't hype up the drug references or any kind of gore. The stories were just good short stories that showed a different world that one could see happen.

I am jealous of this writer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its like a colonic for the soul!!! 22 Feb 2006
By Shawn Rutledge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is amazing. The story placement is seemingly random but everything fits. It starts off with a body mod story and goes to a kid mainlining lightning bugs with little or no transition. But the truth is that the book doesnt need it. Each peice is a stand alone mastepiece but as a collection it just works.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I step into the morning sun and pray that I burn today and shed these corrupted cells, this weak shell." 12 Mar 2006
By Schtinky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even being a lover of offbeat and new punk-horror, I must admit that my original attraction to 'Angel Dust Apocalypse' was the stunning and morbidly beautiful cover art by Morten Bak. A quick glimpse at content and some healthy recommendations (one by author Chuck Palahniuk) had me dishing out the old dollars for my copy. If you love horror, you will not be disappointed in the collection of short and flash fiction by upcoming author Jeremy Robert Johnson.

Table Of Contents:

The League Of Zeroes

Dissociative Skills

Amniotic Shock In The Last Sacred Place

Precedents

Stanley's Lips

Snowfall

Ex-Hale

Working At Home

Priapism

Luminary

Saturn's Game

Branded

The Sharp Dressed Man At The End Of The Line

Two Cages, One Moon

Sparklers Burning

Last Thoughts Drifting Down

Swimming In The House Of The Sea

Wall Of Sound: A Movement In Three Parts

I. BURN/Liquidation

II. PURGE/Deeper

III. TRANCE END/A Number Of Things Come To Mind

Following the stories are some interesting notes on each by Johnson, plus an author's background blurb. Johnson is not only a talented writer of punk-horror, but has a superb sense of humor as well, evidenced in his comments.

My favorite stories are 'The League Of Zeroes', a tale of grotesque body modification for fancy and fashion. 'Amniotic Shock In The Last Sacred Place', displaying a man's hideous fetish to regress and what modern science can do for him. 'Luminary', caressing us with familial love and the odd power of absorbing fireflies. 'The Sharp Dressed Man At The End Of The Line', will a cockroach coat protect you from nuclear fallout, and what material could possibly be better? 'Swimming In The House Of The Sea' is a remarkable normal and touching tale of family ties and nasty tempers. And of course, the drug infused dances of trilogy tales 'Wall Of Sound: A Movement In Three Parts'.

I've read a lot of new authors in the horror field, and I believe Johnson will be seen around more and more. Imagine my surprise, after having already purchased this book, to discover that it has been nominated for an award. Yes, there are moments of shallowness and a few characters that do not compel, but Johnson's imagination soars above that and brings us new and fresh tales of the twisted, the gross, the buggy, and the psychosis of the drug culture, all intertwined together into a tight collection of dripplingly fun adventures.

I intend to check into his other book written with talented Alan M. Clark called 'Siren Promised'. Enjoy!
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