Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot

Blueprints of the AfterlifeWhat a weird freakin’ book. I was in as soon as I heard sentient glacier, but I almost gave up on it when I got to the first chapter and there was an obese lady growing body parts on herself and demanding food from her foster brother who suffered from “ennui” attacks that made him feel all the feelings. And then said brother was told to write a book that he may or may not have already written, and I was like, I have read this book already, am I really going to have to do it again?

But then in the second chapter, there’s a new protagonist, and another in the third, and lots of people to follow around and see what’s going on and figure out how their stories fit in with everyone else’s and it was more like a better book I had already read and I was much much happier.

This is very much one of those books you just have to go with and hope to figure it out later, whether because the book finally tells you what this whole building Manhattan thing is all about or because you think about it long enough and you realize that that thing that made no sense two hundred pages ago makes a little bit of sense now.

It’s also one of those books that doesn’t really have a plot to speak of. There are little mini mystery things that propel each protagonist’s set of chapters, but overall the point of the book seems to be to paint an absurdist picture of the potential future of humanity and maybe throw a moral or two at you while it has a chance. I can’t always get behind that kind of story, but it worked on me here.

And let me just say that I would read The Abby Fogg Story and Boudinot needs to get on that. For all that the stories are weird as all get out, the characters in them are fantastic and utterly relatable (well, maybe not the ones from the first chapter, they’re just wacky) and I’m still a little worried about them. Life is rough, guys, especially in Boudinot’s world.

Recommendation: For lovers of the strange and strangely wonderful.

Rating: 9/10

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