cover image Noise


Darin Bradley, Bantam Spectra, $14 trade paper (240p) ISBN 9780553386226

Media studies professor Bradley crafts an exceptionally polished debut, carefully negotiating the balance between inspiration and story. In the small university town of Slade, Tex., two college friends are inspired by the cryptic messages that various malcontents broadcast via graffiti and the abandoned analog airwaves. Pseudonymous "Hiram" and "Levi" decide to write their own survival manifesto based on The Book, a survival narrative that encourages its readers to spell out a story and set of rules that attempt to justify the actions they take in a society without traditional boundaries, rules, or structures. When the chaos of the unspecified Event hits, Hiram and Levi implement their plan and use skills learned from the Boy Scouts, D&D, and mythology to improve their odds of survival as they collect companions and head for their chosen haven. Falling somewhere between The Lord of the Flies and The Zombie Survival Guide, this dystopian ditty will generate passionate readership and spirited "what would you do?" conversations. (Sept.)