Review: Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse

The blurb on the cover of Go-Go Girls compares Victor Gischler to Christopher Moore.  Besides a sense of humor, there isn’t much similarity.  Moore’s work is more absurd and less gritty than Go-Go Girls, which is a story about the end of the world, but it takes place entirely in the South.  Thankfully, Victor Gischler is from the South, so he’s able to pull this off.

By happenstance, Mortimer Tate was perfectly prepared for the apocalypse, holed up on a mountain with tons of supplies.  After nine years of complete solitude, he comes down the mountain to see what society’s up to.

These days there are plenty of different versions of the post-apocalypse genre.  And for me, most of the time, they’re too simplistic.  The post-apocalypse always seems to have a medieval theme or an old west theme, as if the survivors of the apocalypse just adopt old ways of living now that society has been shattered.  Gischler does this, but it’s not annoying.  It works.  The story deals with how a very specific region of the country has evolved after the apocalypse, and Gischler adds just enough humor and absurdity to make it actually believable.

Gischler’s post-apocalyptic South has an Old West structure, but with twists all along the way.  Two factions have risen to restore civilization.  One is a chain of saloons spread across the region and the other is an army of Nazi-like villains based out of the ruins of Atlanta.  They’ve both basically risen to power through bootlegging.  Mortimer Tate has to navigate between these two factions, make a few allies, and find his ex-wife.  And there are a few psychos and cannibals lurking about, by the way.

This all would seem too ridiculous if it were played off seriously.  But like Christopher Moore, Gischler keeps things lighthearted.  Like a classic western, Mortimer’s a stand-up guy, his friends are loyal, and the villains are all scumbags.  But Gischler doesn’t let it stay that simple.  Mortimer is still a regular guy in a lot of ways (he was an insurance agent before the apocalypse) with plenty of flaws (a lot of transitions involve Mortimer being knocked unconscious for one reason or another).  And the social commentary is always honest and never idealized.

Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is full of action, drinking, violence, sex, and western-style adventure.  But it never comes off as typical Southern redneckery.  Gischler delivers everything with a touch of humor that makes you just want to enjoy the ride.

Get it here:


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