Shambling Towards Hiroshima
In the tradition of Godzilla as both a playful romp and a parable of the dawn of the nuclear era, this original satire blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies. In the summer of 1945 war is reigning in the Pacific Rim, while in the U.S., Syms Thorley... show more
In the tradition of Godzilla as both a playful romp and a parable of the dawn of the nuclear era, this original satire blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies. In the summer of 1945 war is reigning in the Pacific Rim, while in the U.S., Syms Thorley continues his life as a B-movie actor. But the U.S. Navy would like to use Thorley in their top-secret Knickerbocker Project, putting the finishing touches on the ultimate biological weapon: a breed of gigantic, fire-breathing, mutant iguanas. Thorley is to don a rubber suit that will transform him into the merciless Gorgantis and star in a film that simulates the destruction of a miniature Japan—if the demonstration succeeds, the Japanese will surrender, sparing thousands of lives; if it fails, the mutant lizards will be unleashed. Godzilla devotees and history buffs alike will be fascinated by this conspiratorial secret history of a war, a weapon, and an unlikely hero who will have to give the most convincing performance of his life.
Publish date: 2009
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Pages no: 170
Edition language: English
This tale is a rather unique look at both the giant monster genre (kaiju eiga) and b-movie history. The author obviously loves both, and he does get some great characterizations and pseudo-movie history into this book. I so wanted to like it more, but the general concept behind the main character, T...
I spent most of this book feeling profoundly entertained, and finished it feeling terribly moved. The latter parts are a bit heavy-handed for my taste, but then they struck a chord with me so I can't fault them too much for that. Overall, I was riveted pretty much from start to finish.
I love all of James Morrow's books and on many levels this was true here as well. However, I really felt that this was his personal homage to the horror movies, directors and actors of the early years of cinema. At least I assume that is what he was doing. I recognized a few of the movies and actors...
I like James Morrow, particularly The Last Witchfinder. I like Godzilla movies, and even own the recently released Gojira original cut on DVD. But somehow this left me feeling unsatisfied, as though a complex idea -- the right or wrong way to end the war with Japan -- were being given a glib treat...
Somewhere between okay and a more solid like (maybe 2.5 stars), which I bump up for its loving depiction of Hollywood's B-monster-movie subculture of the '40s, and for having (lovely) cameos by James Whale and Willis O'Brien. Morrow is a talented satirist and an often inventive plotter and prose st...