Item description for Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson...
You can survive a nuclear blast.
All you need is some luck, and maybe a customized business suit coated in cockroaches. It could work. At least that's what Dean believed before the bombs actually dropped and his suit led him to murder a Very Important Man at the foot of a blackened obelisk.
Now D.C. is looking awfully empty. Life on Earth is pretty much coming to an end. All of which leaves Dean with a single question-"What now?" The answer to that question will take him on an uncanny voyage across a newly nuclear America where he must confront the problems associated with loneliness, radiation, love, and an ever-evolving cockroach suit with a mind of its own.
Dean's bizarre adventures mark the last chronicle of human existence, the final entries in our species' own...
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Apr 30, 2006
Publisher Swallowdown Press
ISBN 1933929014 ISBN13 9781933929019
Availability 97 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 02:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Extinction Journals?
Civilization Saved Due to Shortage of Raid Apr 29, 2008
Cockroaches and Ants and Nukes! Oh, my! This is definitely not a read for Twinkies. Nor is it for folks who are easily bugged (though the certifiably buggy will have a field day). It may encroach on your sensibilities and antagonize your digestion.
If this is the way the world tries to off itself, I might as well cut and leave right now. This is a quick read and not a bit sluggish or boring. I really liked it and my friend Katy did, too.
Time flies and my wife is telling me I must quit. OK Honey .... (psst - read this, you'll get a real buzz!)
Short and sweet... Apr 27, 2008
...is the life of a man wearing twinkies meets a man wearing a suit of cockroaches. It warmed my heart to read who got eaten. (You must buy the book to find out.) JRJ has become THE author to watch on my 'authors-to-watch' list. This was my first contact with his work, and I've read it at least four or five times since. I've loaned it out to friends (it's on loan as I write this review, as a matter of fact,) and I've told nearly everyone I know who would be interested in this book. So, I'm telling you, too. Buy it!
PS-The fact that he is closely associated with The Mars Volta is synchronicity at its best for me as well.
An incredible work Apr 9, 2008
A truly original story, from a fresh voice in fiction. A must-read for any readers looking for something new.
A survival story for the times Sep 28, 2007
In an age where misinformation has spread to epidemic proportions, where the issues of peak oil and environmental collapse are addressed by the creation of hybrid SUVs, and where technology has quietly invaded and altered every aspect of human life, books like Extinction Journals are more important than ever. Despite all of today's problems (a looming conflict with Iran, celebrity antics, etc.), it's still possible to find hope for a solution. And yeah, constructing a cockroach suit to survive nuclear fallout isn't exactly a solution, but it does shed some light on the utter absurdity of our current dilemmas. As Dean, the novella's protagonist, says, "One day you go to bed happy. The next day your dad dies. In a stupid, stupid way."
Later, after Dean encounters a woman who also owes her life to insects, we eventually come to learn that as devastating as the planet's destruction might be, it doesn't have to be all misery and loneliness. Even when just about every living thing has been annihilated, there still exists a potential for new life. In this case, that new life might turn out to be far stranger than any Darwinist can conceive.
A few have pointed out that Extinction Journals isn't perfect, and upon first reading, it did feel too rushed toward the end. After reading it again, this was far less of an issue. As is the case with many short novels, characters aren't always fully fleshed out, but the re-read demonstrated that this isn't necessarily detrimental to the book either.
If you're looking for a fresh, freakishly funny read, look no further than Extinction Journals. Your inner insect won't regret it.
From Out of the Ashes, A Brave New World... with Bugs Sep 27, 2007
"Extinction Journals" picks up where the "The Sharp Dressed Man At the End of the Line" leaves off. For those of you unfamiliar with that story, it can be found in Mr. Johnson's short story collection, "Angel Dust Apocalypse." Without giving too much away, we meet Dean in the last days before World War III, a young man who believes that he can survive the aftermath of a nuclear war if he's wearing a suit made of cockroaches. As the story ends, Dean is proved correct.
"Extinction Journals" follows Dean around as he makes his way through the nuclear bomb ravaged wasteland of what was once the USA. He struggles to find food and water, all the while wondering if his "suit" will, out of desperation and hunger, turn on him. Along the way, he meets a new god, borne out of mankind's collective unconscious. Neither Dean nor the reader is sure whether or not he's hallucinating, but considering he just survived a nuclear war we have to give him some leeway.
Ultimately, Dean meets other entomologically enlightened individuals who are struggling to put some sense to this brave new world. At that point, they must decide how life will exist, post-humanity, or if it will exist at all.
JRJ has a knack for characterization, even if those characters are a bit twisted. Dean is a nice enough guy, but one has to really be out there to conceive of fashioning a suit out of cockroaches in order to survive a nuclear war. And JRJ's descriptions of the nuclear wasteland are convincingly real, making you shudder (and question Dean's desire to live to see it).
The story was way too short. While readers don't need to be familiar with the short story that preceded this novella, it definitely helps. Adding it as a preface, while driving up the publishing costs, would have enhanced the reading experience for new readers of JRJ's work.
I also had a feeling of repetition between Dean's encounters. It was as if he were stumbling upon the same old irradiated buildings he wandered into earlier.
Lastly, I was hoping for more of an exploration of the relationship between Dean and his suit. I really couldn't get the sense that the symbiosis between man and roach was evolving until the very end. Maybe evolution itself works like that. Rather than gradual changes, we get abrupt "do or die" situations.
While I enjoyed this book, I feel that, for the reasons stated above, it falls a little short of JRJ's previous works. Newcomers should pick up his earlier works first before coming here. Fans of JRJ's work will still want to add this to their collections.