Apocalypse All The Time
by David S. Atkinson
Publisher: Literary Wanderlust
Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.
Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop . . . one way or another. Even if he has to end the world himself.
Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.
BOOK TRAILER: WATCH HERE
Apocalypse All the Time is a comic take on apocalypses and I found myself chuckling at too many parts in the story. The opening scene is already a laugh, but the seriousness of the humor is something to also ponder about — a thing which I will try to thresh out in a little while. The main character, Marshall, is an ordinary citizen living in a futuristic world and I enjoyed reading about his musings about the apparent pointlessness of apocalypses and apocalypse warnings. Indeed, what can he, a mere mortal, do about the apocalypses which don’t seem to stop coming but don’t cause the (eventual) end of the world?
I don’t usually read apocalyptic/dystopian novels because they make me feel depressed, but Apocalypse All the Time provides a different take on apocalypse novels. There is still the usual apocalyptic fare such as earthquakes and floods, a one-world government (Malcolm, the President, is one interesting guy), and zombies (I really didn’t expect this) but the way the apocalypse is depicted in this book does not bring about any depressive emotions. Bonnie, Marshall’s almost-love-interest, is a kick-ass character. I like her. I like how feisty and impulsive she is.
As I said earlier, the story may be humorous but the comic points in the story are also those that require at least some serious thought. What if the world does come to a point where the “apocalypse” happen regularly? What will be the thing that you will do if you know it’s going to be the last thing you’ll be doing it before the world ends? What will you do if you did something you thought to be relevant thinking the world will already end but in fact it didn’t?
All in all, I enjoyed Apocalypse All the Time. The Interlude chapters threw me off at the start but I began to enjoy them after realizing their connection to the story (according to the author, the interludes were also the chapters that he enjoyed writing the most.) reading this book provided me comic relief after a hectic working day but it isn’t just empty humor. It’s touching and poignant and reflects the rawness of human nature.
MY RATING: 3/5 stars.
David S. Atkinson has devoted his free time to reading and writing for as long as he can remember. His writing focus is primarily fiction—short stories and novels—though he expresses himself through poetry and nonfiction as well. David also has a fondness for obtaining college degrees, with four at the latest count (B.S. in computer science from the University of Nebraska Omaha, J.D. from Creighton University, B.A. in English literature from the New York Institute of Technology and M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Nebraska).
Originally from Nebraska, David now spends his nonliterary time working as a patent attorney in Denver, Colorado.
David is the author of Apocalypse All the Time (forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust on January 1, 2017), Not Quite So Stories, Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards® finalist, First Novel (under 80,000 words)) and The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards finalist in humor). His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review and other literary magazines and journals. Contact and learn more about David and his writing at www.davidsatkinsonwriting.com.
David can also be found on Twitter (@DavidSAtkinson) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wightknyte).
“Apocalypse All the Time combines absurdism, science fiction, and sly commentary on our current neuroses induced by the twenty-four news cycle to create something reminiscent of Orwell, Kafka, and Swift, while being entirely its own animal. By turns funny, maddening, and genuinely insightful, it’s one of the most imaginatively weird and original books I’ve read in a while.”
—Joseph Hirsch, author of The Bastard’s Grimoire and other novels
“David S. Atkinson has written a wittily satirical look at our culture’s obsession with destruction, a provocative and humorous foray into the recesses of human nature that delights in the surreal vicissitudes of annihilation. The only regretful part about this apocalyptic ride is that it has to end.”
—Peter Tieryas, author of United States of Japan and Bald New World
“I cannot decide if Apocalypse All The Time is Groundhog’s Day for the seriously cracked or The Day After for the absurdist lit set. What I do know, is that while David S. Atkinson may very well be deranged, his work is funny and weird and wholly touching. I also know that we are all the better for having it in our lives.”
—Ben Tanzer, author of Be Cool and SEX AND DEATH
“Apocalypse All the Time is a wandering journey to Armageddon, again and again and again. There’s a decidedly Kafkaesque bent to the story, and Marshall at times feels like a post-apocalyptic Hamlet. To be, or not to be—that IS the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the floods and fires of a daily doomsday or to take arms against the Apocalypse Amelioration Agency and end them. Ay, there’s the rub. And one hell of a book.”
—Eirik Gumeny, author of the Exponential Apocalypse series
“Apocalypse All the Time holds utterly true to its title. This is a world where apocalypses are not singular impending events but habitual, regular, ordinary, even mere annoyances. Indeed, the narrator ruminates, ‘An apocalypse wasn’t a significant event if it was apocalypse all the time.’ This is a funny, clever, and entirely endearing book, a hilarious take on the existential status of existing as a human in a post-post(-post-post?) apocalyptic world, but it’s also heartbreakingly real and honest. Magnifying back to the real world in which the apocalypse has probably already happened, it is within the pages of these book that we learn to find love in spite of disintegration and ruin, we learn to become in spite of uncertainty, and we learn to live in spite of the hope for death.”
—Janice Lee, Author of Damnation & The Sky Isn’t Blue