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Random Acts Of Senseless Violence (1995)

Random Acts of Senseless Violence (1995)

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4 of 5 Votes: 2
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0802134246 (ISBN13: 9780802134240)
grove press

About book Random Acts Of Senseless Violence (1995)

This book has the BIG two, baby: original and good. I really enjoyed reading Random Acts!Random Acts is the diary of a 12 year-old girl as she descends into the anarchy and apocalypse that is engulfing her family, city, nation and the world. How's that for weird? Ha!There's a lot of Clockwork Orange going on here. Womack does wild, wonderful things with language, ala Burgess or even Cormac. And there's tons of ultra-violence. The characters are vivid. The action is incredible and tense. The ending is boffo. 5 bill-stars!Everything is surreal and opaque. Lola Hart is the main character. Her nickname is Booz and her younger sister is called Boob. Why? Who knows? I started reading this junior high student's diary (she names her diary "Anne"), and I'm like "This doesn't sound like a 12 year-old". I quickly learned (and appreciated) that Womack doesn't care. Everything is meant to disorient. The author takes tons of risk here with language and kids and violence and sex and drugs and politics and race... Death Angels and DCons... it all rocks.The gol dang cherry on top... the book is constructed as one constant, building crescendo to an incredible ending. A great read!QOTDWhen the President came on we watched him. I don't know what he was doped up on tonight Anne but it was something intense. He had glassy eyes like Mama gets and he looked like he didn't even want to be there. He was sitting in an armchair next to a fireplace like we had in our living room. He said that Operation Domestic Storm would calm everything down in no time and that there was no need to worry about the economy He said the nation was poised for recovery like he always said. He also said on the advice of advisors mobs of animals in the cities would be shown no mercy. 'Does he mean us?' I asked Mama. 'No sweetie he means everybody else' Mama said.- Lola, Random Acts of Senseless ViolenceHere's some of the dialect/language in the book. I also like the rapid-fire dialog.QOTD2Weez nodded her head without looking at us. She kicked her good foot against the side of the desk making noise. 'Some matter some don't' she said. 'What's meant?' Jude asked. 'Mean while you tradin up you tossin out good for bad' Weez said. 'No tradin up Weez' said Iz. 'It everybody for theyself these days' Jude said. 'Four of us make one big one. That reasons right Weez and there no call for your ballistics. Peace yourselves proper less you cravin deathpeace.' 'Nobody hurtin yet' Iz said. 'Maybe that what's needin' Weez said sounding angry.- Crazy Lola May 2 diary entryAO.yow, bill

Dear DiaryYou are the only one I can turn too when I am troubled and have no one to talk too. My friends are all reading a book called Random Acts of Senseless Violence written by a guy named Jack Womack. They think it's so cool and it does have a cool name and cover and I really wanted to like it. Really I did... but I just finished reading it and I feel kinda' "meh" about it. Maybe I was expecting more from it, or maybe dear Diary, maybe I'm too old to be cool anymore. Or maybe it's just not anything very special. To tell the truth I did like it in the beginning. The narrator seemed very real and what she was saying was very true. Lola and her family and her friends started off very believable, I cared about their trials and troubles. I felt the stress of an average upper-middle-class upper Eastside NYC family being blindsided by a crumbling economy and an increasingly destabilized government. Oh Diary I think I cared too much because Boom! Powie! Kablam! It all went to nowheresville. They move and it all goes to toilettown. But the more their life went sideways like the less I could swing with it, ya dig? I'm hip to the slag scene, and I'm copacetic with cats referring it to Clockwork Orange but man... I mean that cat Orwell was digging that jive with his "Newspeak" in 1984. And all the bigwigs in squaresville forget about a little tome called Riddley Walker by a truly far out cat named Russell Hoban. That was the ultimate. But my ever lovin' Diary this became like nowheresville fast man. I mean I dug the fact that Lola becomes a hardcore tough chick, and that she wasn't cool with guys. I mean you got to swing with whatever makes you wail baby, but it really didn't groove me Man. It didn't make a point or add anything other than the fact she was just digging to her own groove. Everyone just became like 1D, one dimensional man. I just bailed on caring and just kept reading to see where it was taken me. So by the time people were buying the farm, and things get far out it just meant like nada to me, ya dig? I'm not copping a bit, you know I'm no tuches lecker but I was left bummed. Not depressed or sad.... just the whole book became a King Sized drag, like boresville man. And that's nowhere dad, that just ain't cool Diary.

Do You like book Random Acts Of Senseless Violence (1995)?

So tough to rate.1) Exquisite writing. Mind-blowingly marvelous. The shifting voice of the MC is compelling and utterly believable.I've penned myself dry with all I writ. You give ear when everybody deafs and lend me shoulder constant if tears need dropping.2)The book kept me up ALL NIGHT. I was unable to stop reading because I had to find out about Iz and Boob and Lola.3) At the same time, I hated the plot. I'm not saying it was a bad plot. It was gripping and perfectly structured. It's no mean feat to give the reader five assassinated presidents in a year and yet feel realistic. But I felt constantly nauseated and on the verge of tears (which frequently spilled over). When I finished I had to speak rather strongly to myself because that everpresent siren call of oblivion was considerably louder than usual.I'm giving it one star because I genuinely wish I hadn't read it, and the world seems vastly bleaker today. This doesn't mean it is a bad book. It's a brilliant book, that bewitched me, and made me hate it.
—Emma Sea

This book should be as famous as A Clockwork Orange - like that one it has its own language and pictures a near future urban nightmare featuring gangs of feral children.But it isn't. Perhaps the problem is the title, which is, when you look at it objectively, completely crap. Perhaps the problem is that when people see that it's about a near future urban nightmare featuring gangs of feral children they think huh, I already read one like that.Doesn't stop them reading umpteen books about vampires though. So it can't be that. Maybe it’s because this novel is a little bit science fictiony and a little bit young adulty and that confuses us poor readers. But really I don’t know. It's a mystery.Anyway, this novel portrays the disintegration of our heroine's privileged upper-class Manhattan lifestyle bit by bit as all the problems inherent in the rich Western lifestyle which makes it doomed, doomed I say, irredeemably doomed rise up like a fetid sewerey sea of unfixable breakdown and commences to drown everyone. So this is a lot of fun, seeing the rich suffer and the stuck-up girls not able to ride their ponies in the Berkshires any more because the ponies all got eaten. But that's not the half of it.The tale is told in diary form by Lola Hart who is 12 when we begin and going on 14 I think as we leave her. It’s one thing to have a good laugh at the rich suffering but when you’re up close and personal with a 12 year old girl’s diary while her life is torn down bit by bit and you watch her have to rebuild it herself with her bare hands, that’s another thing entirely. Jack Womack is a very brave writer – he thinks he can think the way a rich funny intelligent 12 year old girl would, about 20 or 30 years in the future, and show us how her whole mental landscape, and consequently her vocabulary, her idioms and slang and grammar, all morph along with these huge life changes and she becomes absorbed into the black street gangs which rule the blocks where her suddenly impoverished family has to move to. By the end of the book you get to be as fluent in future black street vernacular as Lola has to be.By half way, you get the sinking feeling you know how thinks will turn out for Lola, so by the last third you are reading through your fingers hoping that you’re gonna be wrong. The last page is a killer. I can't say this about many people but I can say - Lola Hart – you broke my heart..
—Paul Bryant

Recommended on YALSA-BK as a good dystopian title starring a 12-year-old girl.Random Acts is the story of a young girl in a near-future Manhattan dealing with an increasingly violent culture. Over the course of about six months, Lola's life falls from upper-middle class life into violent crime and life on the streets. The novel watches her life, instincts, and language change. Of particular note is this language thing. The first entries are in traditional conservative modern grammer. By the end, you get portions like:"You give ear when everybody deafs and lend me shoulder constant if tears need dropping. I know you're always with me but time shorts and I have to solo present. Deathpeace still be an undone deal but I set now ready when it come whenever it come." (pg. 255)The author transitions the prose extremely smoothly. I didn't even notice that things were changing until I realized that I was occasionally struggling to see meaning in the text. Honestly, I can see why it didn't find an audience. It's about a 12-year-old, but it's pretty darn gritty, with heavy violence, lesbian (though not at all graphic) sex, and a thoroughly depressing ending. I'm not sure who I would handsell this to other than other adult dystopian nerds like me. Probably gonna give it to my resident lesbian goth upper teen, with a soft "let me know what you think" hedge. But I really did like it.

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