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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits  By  cover art

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

By: David Wong,Jason Pargin
Narrated by: Christy Romano
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Publisher's Summary

In a prosperous yet gruesomely violent near future, superhero vigilantes battle thugs whose heads are full of supervillain fantasies. The peace is kept by a team of smooth, well-dressed negotiators called The Men in Fancy Suits. Meanwhile a young girl is caught in the middle and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.

Zoey, a recent college graduate with a worthless degree, makes a reluctant trip into the city after hearing that her estranged con artist father died in a mysterious yet spectacular way. There she finds that her scumbag dad had actually, in the final years of his life, put his amazing talent for hustling to good use: He was one of the founding members of the Fancy Suits and died in the course of his duties. Zoey is quickly entangled in the city's surreal mob war when she is taken hostage by a particularly crazy villain who imagines himself to be a Dr. Doom-level mastermind. The villain is demanding information about Zoe's father when she is rescued by The Fancy Suits. She reluctantly joins their cause and helps finish what her old man started, tapping in to her innate talent for bullshit that she inherited from her hated father. And along the way, she might just have to learn how to trust people again.

©2015 David Wong, Jason Pargin (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This whole city is a butt that farts horror.

I have read several books by David Wong before, and so I was very excited to start this one. A few minutes in, it was clear that it was in his usual style, that slightly vulgar, but still hysterical style that he wrote John Dies in the End, etc.

The story is in a futuristic place, where cars drive themselves and cell phones project holograms of the callers, but it’s still familiar enough that the characters can hit the Wendy’s drive-thru for some chili or botch an at-home hair dying job. Wong does a great job striking the perfect balance of the two. There are so many twists and turns, so hold on to the seat of your voice controlled car, and enjoy the ride.

Whether or not you’ve read any other books by David Wong before, this one will not disappoint, it’s a great book and a ton of fun to listen to.

45 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Insufferable characters and disjointed themes

I am typically a fan of Wong's not-so-subtle humor, but this one missed the mark. While fart jokes and silliness juxtaposed with life or death situations are typical of Wong's, many of the gags in this book felt forced or out of place. I just didn't laugh as much as I did with "John Dies" or "Spiders." Also, the theme seemed to revolve around the resilience of feminism in the face of unrepentant misogyny. Although the effort was earnest, I don't think it landed as intended. The main character was a bit flat and came off as indifference peppered with poor foresight. While she overcame some significant challenges, it was mostly due to dumb luck or the actions of others. The rest of the cast seemed tightly focused, but trudging through the story from Zoe's perspective felt like a chore. Even the detestable villian was slightly more layered than the protagonist, even though he was a shallow husk of misogyny personified. Overall, the setting, supporting cast, and interesting themes of the story were notable, but they were all held back by an uninteresting, sometimes insufferable hero.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellently read SF thriller, with guns and humor

I had avoided David Wong books under the impression that they were mostly horror, but picked this one up on a whim - I am really glad I did. This was an excellent near-future thriller that felt like a comic book movie, one that was not afraid of some (lightweight) satirical social commentary, but is mostly about slick gangsters, super villains, McGuffins, and excellently written dialogue. It is also surprisingly funny, to the degree that I actually laughed out loud a couple of times.

Holding it together is the amazing reading of Christy Romano, who does character voices on par with the best readings I have heard on Audible, and brings even the most cartoonish of the characters to life. This important because, while the central figures in the story are well-rounded and interesting, many of the characters are a bit light on motivation, existing mostly as foils for jokes or action. There is also occasionally some dissonance in the contrasts between the (occasionally horrific) violence described in the book and the frequent use of humor in the face of disturbing scenes.

These are relatively minor flaws, since the book is at its best when considered as a comic book in novel form - I really enjoyed it.

27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

David Wong Does It Again

When I found out this wasn't a continuation of the David and John saga, I was slightly disappointed. This disappointment turned out to be unjustified. David Wong is great at weaving ridiculousness and humor throughout his stories. I would like to formally apologize for doubting him. The story was good, full of heartfelt moments, serious introspection into human nature, and Wong's trademark hilarity. The narrator did a great job of giving each character not just a voice, but a cadence and speech pattern that perfectly matched their personalities. Overall, it was a great experience that will make David Wong fans feel at home as well as appealing to fans of sci-fi and crime dramas. I highly recommend this title.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Like Stale Kettle Corn

You keep going because you can almost taste what it was meant to be, but in the end you're left feeling unfulfilled and maybe a little sick. It's unsubtke, not nearly as funny as it thinks it is, and the plot meanders from setpiece to setpiece with the thinnest of convenient justifications to excuse it. All in all, not great.

The narration is equally unsubtle, saddling every non-white character with a borderline racist ethnic accent.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

violent, madcap, edge-of-bad-taste romp

True to David Wong's quirky, fast-paced, oddball, edge-of-bad-taste, addictive writing style, this book was a fun romp of a tale. It wasn't quite as good as John Dies at the End, but it was well worth a listen. Chubby 22 year old barista Zoey is snatched out of her plebian trailer-park existence and away from her 38 year old stripper mother, and thrust into a high-stakes adventure to determine the estate of her suddenly-departed very rich celebrity father. Everybody wants her as she is apparently the key to her father's wealth and to the secret behind robotic body modifications that give normal people super-abilities. Zoey had nothing but disdain for her father and his ill-gotten millions, and wants nothing more than to escape the madness - but no one is allowing her to walk away. Who does she trust and how will she worm her way out of this mess?

The plot is convoluted, twisty, violent, flashy, absurd, and moves along at breakneck speed. You barely have time to question the craziness of the plot and you just try to hang on and appreciate the humorous moments. Zoey, of course, has deeper reserves of survival instinct and intelligence than she knew she had, and in the end, manages to wrestle control of the situation.

The book is really violent and often the characters act in bad taste, but Zoey is a decently feminist lead character and manages to call out the (good and) bad guys on their failings and small-mindedness, and you find yourself liking her more and more as the book continues.

Christy Romano's audio narration is snappy and well-suited to this book. It helped me enjoy the story and kept me listening when I would have put a print copy of this book down.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Me
  • 10-12-15

Don't be fooled by a lack of David and John

If you found yourself here because you loved JDatE and TBiFoS, but are worried about this book not including them then worry no more. This book is great in its own right. In fact I think this book is better than TBiFoS.

One of the things that made the previous books great was the fact that you never knew what was going to happen. And what eventually happened was ridiculous and funny. In this book there is some of that, but it's almost as if the author matured and didn't rely on that writing style to make this book work.

So if you like his previous books then give this one a chance.

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Horrible Narration

I enjoyed Wong's previous two novels, and the same silly, bizarre sense of humor is found here. I laughed out loud more than once. Unfortunately, a couple of those times were at the unbelievably bad narration that absolutely ruined the overall experience.

When the book started, I honestly thought I was being trolled by Wong and he had brought his humor to the next level by starting the book with comically bad narration. The problem is that she. Has full-stop pauses at totally inconceivable. Times. It will drive. You mad. I am not 100% convinced that Christy Romano is a human narrator, so I googled her. I'm still not convinced. Maybe there's a software program reconstructing this reading from previous voice clips like a next gen Stephen Hawking voice. Maybe someone replaced her with a robot and the robot has buggy software. Maybe someone in charge of sound editing is drinking on the job. There is just no way that a human being could actually be this awkward and terrible. I'm not buying that the reading is fully human. The result is that while she has a wide variety of very good character voices (they are good), the delivery has gone terribly, suspiciously wrong.

Do not open this audio book, and not because it's full of spiders. It's full of some. Thing worse than. That.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Annoying main character.. And villain.

This book is actually well written conceptually and most of the characters are thoughtfully rendered... With the exception of the main character, who consistently makes the most boneheaded decisions for two thirds of the book.. I realize that the author designed the main character to be naive and clueless entering a brand new environment, but damn there's a difference between naive and frustratingly stupid.

I also wish that more of the side characters had detailed back-stories. Because they were all way more likeable than the main character and only a few had any history revealed about them and why they were so loyal to the Livingston empire.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun story, TERRIBLE Narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book itself is exactly what you'd expect from a near future dystopic novel brought to you by the same author who penned the John Dies at the End book. Entertaining, a little low brow, pretty facecd paced (once you get through the beginning) and all around a fun read.It's a little slow to get going, but worth it. Haven't gotten to the end quite yet though

What didn’t you like about Christy Romano’s performance?

She's one of the worst audible narrators I have ever hear. I can't believe that the final product made it through the editing process as is. She constantly puts emphasis on the wrong syllables, trips over commas/reads straight through periods, and just says the wrong damn word in certain places (I have heard her say 'through' when it is clear from context the correct word was 'though' at least twice). I don't know if it's just because they had to edit her mistakes so badly, but at points it sounds like a computer is reading sentences to you, and the computer is just reading one word aloud at a time rather than blocking off phrases with a good cadence and putting stress on words with more impact (you know... like a good narrator does). At first it was maddening, then I started to think it was somewhat fitting for the book. I haven't quite finished the book yet, but I think i'll stick with it because at this point I am invested in the story and would like to know the end but I already am reading a couple books that I don't want to put down so could finish this one as a printed copy.

Any additional comments?

Read it, don't listen to this awful narration! Also, to Audible: Please NEVER use Christy Romano as a narrator again....

10 people found this helpful

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  • PapaPete
  • 09-29-18

Amusing at first, but definitely over-long

I struggled to finish this book. At first I liked the style and humour, but it went on way too long. it became a chore in the end, but I wanted to know how it finished. I'm sure I can find a better way to spend 15 hours though. in the end, the humour seemed childish as the novelty wore off.

6 people found this helpful

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  • MRS BETH M JONES
  • 10-12-15

Bravo wong.

This was a great story for me. I was initially upset to find out that it was not the third book in the David and John stories. However here he has created a great new world populated by interesting characters. The humour remains sharp if a little childish, but if you like wongs work as an author and writer for cracked that's what you will enjoy. The narration on the whole was enjoyable, but at times a little inconsistent. despite this I would like to hear more books read by Romano. In short I now have two book series' to look forward to from Wong.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AudiobookDevotee
  • 06-23-21

The description on audible is wrong.

This was a good book but the start of the description where it says "In a prosperous yet gruesomely violent near future, superhero vigilantes battle thugs whose heads are full of supervillain fantasies. The peace is kept by a team of smooth, well-dressed negotiators called The Men in Fancy Suits." Is completely and utterly wrong.

I was expecting a Differently Morphous style book with a sort of superhero/villain Men In Black squad. There was nothing like this. The "superhero" was basically non-existant in that role and the MIFS weren't negiotating middlemen but were protagonists fighting against the villains. Read the blurb on Amazon or Goodreads rather than on Audible for a better idea of what this book it about.

Having said that, despite not being what I expected this book was a bundle of fun. The protagonist is a bit of a wet flannel at times but the rest of the cast were strong enough characters to overcome that. You want the protagonists to win. The plot makes some amount of sense. There's a sprinkling of humour and jokes even if not all of them land. All in all this is a good, fun book and the narration was good too.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A_tavern
  • 12-06-20

Hilarious, random and gripping

This is an amazing book. How David Wong came up with the crazy stuff that happens in this story I will never know. It was hilarious and random, like the kind of stuff that flits into your mind for a second and then you dismiss as crazy was knitted together into a story. If I could have listened for 15hrs straight I would have. Also, it must be said, Christy Romano was an amazing narrator. There were quite a lot of characters and she brought them to life so amazingly well - different accents, pitches, paces. The next book in the series isn’t narrated by her, which is disappointing. I haven’t read it yet but I can’t imagine Zoe not having Christy’s voice, or any of the other characters to be fair. Overall, a fantastic read/listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Neon
  • 12-02-20

An absolute blast.

Set in a quirky but believable extrapolation of todays social media society this book manages to be both funny -and- riveting in its story. Definitely recommended listening.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack
  • 10-17-22

Broadly Horrific

This isn't a book that I would recommend to anyone due to it's truly horrific villain and subject matter but it is great and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was lured in by its comic book title and a desire to read more light hearted stuff. What I actually found was a really well written study on the Alt-right Fascism of 'Bro' culture.

Threatening, sinister and stressful throughout but I couldn't stop listening. A bit like watching the Dark Knight.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-22-21

Futuristic and historic violence are very similar

I might have enjoyed this more if the pronunciation of "Tabula Rasa" hadn't been so heavily Americanised into "Tah-Bool-Ah Rah-Sa"

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikki
  • 04-08-17

ruined by narrator<br />

Great story, utterly ruined by the narrator who destroyed the clever writing by stressing the wrong words in the sentences.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 12-02-22

Great fun, well worth my time

Picked it up as liked the name, I judged the book by its cover and this time it paid off Incredibly well.

Lovely ideas on the potential near future

I enjoyed it so much I’m buying the next one now in the series and going straight into that which I wouldn’t normally do.

I just loved the feeling the author created

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 05-25-22

Quite good with some humour

Christy Romano performed this excellently. Clear voice andes distinctive characters.

The story itself was quite good. Deliberately over the top gangsterism with many double crosses. It trundled along at a headlong pace. So the listener has to keep up. I am likely to look at for more Wong books

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tegan H.
  • 01-16-19

Disappointing

I thought I would enjoy this, as I liked other things by this author.
But any genuinely funny or exciting moments were bogged down by long passages of tedium. It's about 50% too long as well.
There was an extended section in the middle that was a make-over scene. It made me cringe so hard I nearly died. That whole section would have been better had the author simply replaced it with "HEY GUYS IT'S OKAY TO CONSIDER THIS CHARACTER F***ABLE NOW"
I couldn't wait for this book to be over.
At least the cat doesn't die.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris A
  • 03-22-16

Fun

Really fun novel. Christy Romano does a great job bringing characters to life in this Audiobook

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-29-18

6/10

What would have been a great story was a bit spoilt by an average narration.
6/10

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-15-17

Awesome performance

A great future Tech story made awesome by a solid reading performance. Well worth it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bianca-Jaye
  • 11-13-16

A really fun novel!

What did you like best about this story?

I loved that the story kept dancing on the line between serious and silly! with some really shocking bits in between

What does Christy Romano bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her character voices were spot on, I sometimes forgot that I was only listening to one person

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book had me laughing out loud at parts that not only surprised me, but the people sitting behind me on the bus...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sharon
  • 10-15-15

Like the story, not so much the narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really - wish I'd read the hard copy

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Christy Romano?

someone with a better narrative voice and doesn't sound like she is reading to a 4 year old