Paperback ó Atomik Aztex PDF/EPUB µ

Atomik Aztex In the alternate universe of this glitteringly surreal first novel, the Aztecs rule, having conquered the European invaders Zenzontli, Keeper of the House of Darkness, is visited by visions of a parallel world run by the Europeans, where consumerism reigns supreme Aztecs armed with automatic weapons, totemic powers and blood sacrifice conquer and colonize s Europe, as ghosts of the world wars emerge to haunt contemporary Los Angeles Atomik Aztex is a hilarious read A potent concoction, with influences from graphic novels, along with Ishmael Reed s Mumbo Jumbo, the paranoia of Philip K Dick and William Burroughs, and an outrageous cyber Aztl n mix reminiscent of Guillermo G mez Pe aSesshu Foster is the author of the critically acclaimed City Terrace Field Manual


About the Author: Sesshu Foster

Sesshu Foster is an American poet He has taught composition and literature in East LA since 1985, and has also taught at the University of Iowa, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Jack Kerouac School s Summer Writing Program He was in residence at California State University, Los Angeles.Awards 2010 American Book Award for World Ball Notebook2009 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry for World Ball Notebook2005 Believer Book Award for Atomik Aztex1990 American Book Award for Invocation LA Urban Multicultural PoetryFinalist for a PEN Center West Poetry Prize, for City Terrace Field ManualFinalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize for City Terrace Field Manual



10 thoughts on “Atomik Aztex

  1. says:

    Eight years after finishing this book for the first time I still get excited whenever I discuss it, pressing my copy upon friends and relatives with the wide eyed please read this entreaties of a newly saved evangelical Atomik Aztex is a wildly enjoyable read, a super stylised detonation of slick phrases, memorable scenes and some genuinely funny moments This is a book that makes you want to read sections aloud to your friends just to hear the rhythms and punches of Foster s sentences you m Eight years after finishing this book for the first time I still get excited whenever I discuss it, pressing my copy upon friends and relatives with the wide eyed please read this entreaties of a newly saved evangelical Atomik Aztex is a wildly enjoyable read, a super stylised detonation of slick phrases, memorable scenes and some genuinely funny moments This is a book that makes you want to read sections aloud to your friends just to hear the rhythms and punches of Foster s sentences you may not want to read all of it out though there are some seriously blood and guts y sections Atomik Aztex is a story of two parts, one, a 20th century alternate reality where the Americas were never colonised by Europe and an Aztec Empire, founded on Aztec techno spiritual practices and continual human sacrifice, is a regional power The empire is fighting their timeline s World War Two, and is engaged on the Eastern Front, allied to the Russians The main character of the novel, Zenzontil, is a ranking member of this society, a warrior leader, slave owner and general badass This narrative is juxtaposed with the very different world of Zezontil s dreams, where he endures the grinding existence of a Hispanic meat plant worker in 1940s California I m a bit of a history geek so Leopard skin cloaked Aztec warriors hunting Nazis through the ruins of Stalingrad was always going to get my boat out of dry dock, but while the story and setting of Atomik Aztex are strong, they aren t what make the book great What makes this book unique is Foster s continually inventive and surprising prose Foster is a poet, and it shows in the best possible way Language is his instrument, and he coaxes words into truly entertaining rhythms, furiously minting neologisms at a rate that would terrify the dictionary editors at Oxford, Collins, and Macquarie.This is Foster s only novel he has published several books of poetry and it made me an instant fan of his work I ve long hoped that he ll write another


  2. says:

    Audacious, bodacious, hyperenergetic, imaginative, imagistically generous, interacting alt realities, porous borders between eras Reminded me of Philip K Dick The Man in the High Castle , ultraviolent voice driven Vollmanny pyrotechnics, Ishmael Reed Flight to Canada, Mumbo Jumbo , with mucho Junot Diaz spanglish, vato Unlike Joyce at all, per some reviews on here Slaughterhouses and sacrifices The most enjoyable novel I ve read in a while A total mindfugg Read the complete impressi Audacious, bodacious, hyperenergetic, imaginative, imagistically generous, interacting alt realities, porous borders between eras Reminded me of Philip K Dick The Man in the High Castle , ultraviolent voice driven Vollmanny pyrotechnics, Ishmael Reed Flight to Canada, Mumbo Jumbo , with mucho Junot Diaz spanglish, vato Unlike Joyce at all, per some reviews on here Slaughterhouses and sacrifices The most enjoyable novel I ve read in a while A total mindfugg Read the complete impression here


  3. says:

    A stunning little book Its brutal violence and hypermasculinity wore on me, and it s nonlinearity might annoy aconventional reader But it has a tremendous amount to offer on the relationship between masculinity, empire, and domination It follows one protagonist in two very different realities in one, he is a communist labor organize at Farmer John s meat processing plant in Los Angeles in the 1940s in the other, he is a commanding officer in the Aztec army battling Nazi Germany In th A stunning little book Its brutal violence and hypermasculinity wore on me, and it s nonlinearity might annoy aconventional reader But it has a tremendous amount to offer on the relationship between masculinity, empire, and domination It follows one protagonist in two very different realities in one, he is a communist labor organize at Farmer John s meat processing plant in Los Angeles in the 1940s in the other, he is a commanding officer in the Aztec army battling Nazi Germany In the later, Aztecs easily defeated the Spanish and went on to become a major imperial slave holding socialist empire In both worlds, he is a misogynist and an asshole in both his world in saturated with violence But he is a profoundly different person in each In the tension of those differences and similarities Foster offers us a dense mediation on how empires build themselves on blood, how empire constitutes masculinities, and the ways masculinity functions on both sides of a relationship of exploitative domination


  4. says:

    I knew Sesshu Foster and I were going to have problems as soon as I read the note before the beginning of the book, which I will reproduce in full, because I think it gives a good sense of what Atomik Aztex is and is not about This is a work of fiction Did he feel the need to say this because the cover only says Atomik Aztex and not Atomik Aztex A Novel Was there any way anybody could have mistaken a book with this title for a work of non fiction Readers looking for accurate information I knew Sesshu Foster and I were going to have problems as soon as I read the note before the beginning of the book, which I will reproduce in full, because I think it gives a good sense of what Atomik Aztex is and is not about This is a work of fiction Did he feel the need to say this because the cover only says Atomik Aztex and not Atomik Aztex A Novel Was there any way anybody could have mistaken a book with this title for a work of non fiction Readers looking for accurate information on Nahua and Mexica peoples or the Farmer John meat packing plant in the City of Vernon need to read nonfiction patronizing italics his So not only does he offend anyone who actually sought out his book and knew what they were looking for, but he s casting doubt on all the seeming facts he includes in the book itself, which is strange, because he spends whole pages talking in great detail about the processes involved in, for instance, Aztec sacrifices or Farmer John meat packing A significant portion of the book is devoted to listing facts about all this stuff, and he casts doubt on the accuracy of all of it before he even starts Great Persons attempting to find a plot in this book should read Huck Finn Whoa, wait No plot Shit Well, he hasn t quite scared me off yet Also, in this book a number of dialects are used, including the extreme form of the South Western pocho dialect, cal , ordinary inner city slang, and modified varieties of speech from the Vietnam era This is no accident So from this it looks like there are going to be large portions of the book that are nigh incomprehensible to the average person.Much as I d like to, I m not going to give him anyflak about the note, except to say that taken all together, it strongly implies that Atomik Aztex is plotless and characterless, making it, what, an exercise in language Let s hope the prose is good, then.Unfortunately, the prose could at best be described as uneven Foster is clearly a capable writer, maybe even a great one But every great line is covered in garbage Sample line of dialogue Don t you know nothing Let me put it another way Why drown all your kittens in the same sack on a rainy day when you can wear concrete galoshes to your own funeral, find yourself staring up thru the dandelions hog wild on a Month of Sundays in the Windy City Don t be such a Knuckle Sandwich, Spaz Attack I m not being entirely fair that line isn t exactly representative of the entire book, but it IS representative of a dense, clich ridden six page dialogue with no tags or paragraphs, none of which really makes any sense whatsoever.Back up Let me try and reconstruct the story a little bit For context The whole book follows Zenzontli, Keeper of the House of Darkness, and the only character possessingthan one dimension Half the time, he s a wage slave in a Los Angeles slaughterhouse The other half, he s an Aztek sic warrior of some power and status who leads other Aztek warriors during the Battle of Stalingrad Guess which one s the dream vision hallucination It s the slaughterhouseas far as I can tell Naturally, it s waycomplex than that There are characters common to both storylines, although they share nothingthan a name no character is really developed beyond physical description and mannerisms And the mannerisms seem interchangeable, just like the spelling of every word Then you have the instances where the two storylines collide, where characters address Zenzontli the meatpacker as if he were Zenzontli the Keeper of the House of Darkness All this gets pretty confusing, and neither the writing nor the story itself possesses enough power to make the reader want to puzzle it all out.It definitely has the potential to be interesting there are some nice parallels between the savage Aztek culture and the equally savage though slightlysubtly so American capitalist culture But why does Foster have to make it so pointlessly difficult There s no reason to cram all the text onto each page with half inch margins and no paragraph breaks There s no reason to include cryptic black and white photos at the beginning of every chapter There s no reason to spell the same word two different ways in the same sentence There s no reason to write certain passages in italics if those passages don t differ in any meaningful respect from other passages There s no reason to insert a page of text clearly culled from email spam subject lines into a character s speech That s not just me disparaging his writing, he really put email spam in there PENIS ENLARGEMENT FDA Approved vacuum pump surgical enlargement Gain 1 3 Permanent and Safe Enhance Erection Dr Joel Kaplan 619 574 PUMP, et cetera And there s certainly no reason to end the most only captivating scene in the book with Except that never happened


  5. says:

    Kool


  6. says:

    I choose to read this because the premise sounded so interesting Alternate history in which the Azteks survived and thrived contrasted with a multiple reality structure in which the protagonist is confronted by a reality in which the Azteks did not and he works at a meat packing plant However, I didn t get the impression in reading the book that the protagonist in the 2 contrasting realities was the same person or was aware of his counterpart like I had anticipated I almost got the feeling th I choose to read this because the premise sounded so interesting Alternate history in which the Azteks survived and thrived contrasted with a multiple reality structure in which the protagonist is confronted by a reality in which the Azteks did not and he works at a meat packing plant However, I didn t get the impression in reading the book that the protagonist in the 2 contrasting realities was the same person or was aware of his counterpart like I had anticipated I almost got the feeling that they were 2 different and only vaguely connected stories So many minor characters seemed to have beeninvested and aware of the multiple realities than the protagonist was And even this structure seemed poorly explained I kept reading hoping for some elucidation, either on that or on how the Azteks in the first reality thrived, but to no avail There keeps being mention of how Aztek human sacrifice, especially of the heart was central to their survival, but it is never really explained in any cogent way I would have even been satisfied if some actual attempt to explain it away as magic would have been made, but not even that was attempted.The jumping between characters and worlds happens so randomly and suddenly that you are left confused There are run on sentences and run on paragraphs and collections of words and phrases that are not even sentences or comprehensible thoughts There is a chapter where, I think, the characters are trying to speak in code, but it just goes on and on, leaving you frightfully confused and feeling left out At points, it just feels like a free writing exercise that somehow became close enough to a novel due to random chance I ended finishing the book as a sort of distraught personal challenge annoyed that I had invested time in it and feeling like, having come this far, I must finish or the book wins Even though I finished the book, I still felt like I lost for having read it.That is not to say that it wasn t fun or enjoyable at parts Sometimes the rambling structure really worked, but not all of the time and not enough to keep me invested in the story , if you can call it that


  7. says:

    Sadly, this book is probably really fun The conceit an alternate world where Aztec Aztek in the book magic not only repulsed the Spaniards but led to Aztec world domination coupled with a world spanning plot bringing our protag back and forth to our world where he works at a meat packing plant killing cattle all day sounds like great fun.Unfortunately, someone convinced the author that telling the Aztek part of the story which is the bulk of the story, at least as far as I got in four Sadly, this book is probably really fun The conceit an alternate world where Aztec Aztek in the book magic not only repulsed the Spaniards but led to Aztec world domination coupled with a world spanning plot bringing our protag back and forth to our world where he works at a meat packing plant killing cattle all day sounds like great fun.Unfortunately, someone convinced the author that telling the Aztek part of the story which is the bulk of the story, at least as far as I got in four to seven page paragraphs with no clear cues to the reader as to pacing or thought train and no way to bookmark was a good idea Clearly, the editor fell down on the job it was his or her job, and the job of the members of the writers workshop and the publications that printed portions of the book before it came out, all thanked in the frontmatter, to talk Sesshu Foster down from trying to be James Joyce at the expense of helping readers experience his or her world The writing in those unreadable blocks isn t bad The characters are developed slowly, if at all, but this isn t a character driven story Or plot driven, for that matter The frontmatter also haughtily suggests that readers looking for a plot should go elsewhere clearly they don t deserve Foster s vision But auctorial excess is both one of the prices and one of the rewards of reading The milieu story is a good read I especially find myself wondering how the relationship between the two worlds and their separate kinds of sacrifices would pan out Unfortunately, I don t have the time or the energy to read the rest I don t want to fight a book to enjoy it And unlike Joyce, the words themselves don t transport me sufficiently to draw me along.I m glad I saw an in store employee recommendation for this book and I want to see another by Foster, but I won t buy it until I ve spent some time with it in the store I regret wasting enough time that I m simply teased by it but I don t resent the shelf space I ll give it Well, not too much


  8. says:

    Not really knowing what to say about this book, I will defer a bit to what others have said, so, please pardon me for a moment Many, or at least the three or four reviews I have read, have said this is a story of an alternate universe where the protagonist, Zenzontli, is at once in a world where the Aztecs have reigned supreme over the Spanish and have begun the colonialization of Europe I should mention here that I saw little if any evidence of this Yes, in his alternate reality Zenzontli Not really knowing what to say about this book, I will defer a bit to what others have said, so, please pardon me for a moment Many, or at least the three or four reviews I have read, have said this is a story of an alternate universe where the protagonist, Zenzontli, is at once in a world where the Aztecs have reigned supreme over the Spanish and have begun the colonialization of Europe I should mention here that I saw little if any evidence of this Yes, in his alternate reality Zenzontli did go off to fight the Nazis, but I see nothing of the Aztecs colonizing Europe In fact, I see this novel asof a statement of how absurd human behavior existence is I don t even know if existence is the correct word here since this does seem to be an existential work on some levels and this is illustrated repeatedly through use of language used in contemporary times infused with the past Here is what comes to mind when I think of this book Time is it linear or can it be transcended and traversed Do we livethan one life at once Are dreams a valid existence The language that different generations and epochs use is absurd and often makes no sense to those outside the context of those who are using the language This may speak to the theory that language restricts thought.There is some existentialism in this book, I just need to spend some time with it to find out exactly where and what it is, but there is plenty of concern of what we do with our lives while we are living them What if, this novel seems to ask, we were forced to exist in alternate realities where our decisions a effected our futures Would we live our past lives any differently If so, why not act as if a future depends on how we live our lives today


  9. says:

    Moves between a few alternate universes, the main one being a world where the Aztecs booted out European invaders and are now busy in the mid 20th century kicking some Nazi ass over on the continent Lots of ramblings from a crazy Aztec warrior, like probably in your World of the future they have discovered amazing stuff like DNA fingerprints, penicillin pencils, free jazz fusion, 8 track tapes, San Fernando porno Valley, I can t even imagine all the kool stuff they could discover in the Futu Moves between a few alternate universes, the main one being a world where the Aztecs booted out European invaders and are now busy in the mid 20th century kicking some Nazi ass over on the continent Lots of ramblings from a crazy Aztec warrior, like probably in your World of the future they have discovered amazing stuff like DNA fingerprints, penicillin pencils, free jazz fusion, 8 track tapes, San Fernando porno Valley, I can t even imagine all the kool stuff they could discover in the Future, like maybe they will figure out how to take fucked up people replace them with exact duplicates of people who happen to be kool Deliberately difficult and kind of slow reading as a result, but it did make me want to go kick it in East LA with Sesshu Foster


  10. says:

    After 5 different attempts to read this book spurred by very enthusiastic recommendations from a couple of friends whose judgment I respect I have to admit defeat This is a book I cannot read


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *