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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 (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    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.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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.

9 people found this helpful

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

Disappointing

Story is mostly "ok" dragged down to "meh", as chapters ping pong between exposition dumps and smug, self important monologues that border on preaching. What worked in 'John Dies at the End' was that these portentous speaches and stories were a punchline, as the characters would take the piss out of it. Here, everyone goes into high-school level "Real Talk" on the drop of a hat and its played dead fucking strait.

And by far the worst performance I heard so far on Audible. Tip to amateur VAs, if you can't do accents then DON'T. The character voices incredibly cliche, as if they were meant to be limp parodies of what they should've been. But all ethic accents were delivered with the blunt insensitivity of a Michael Scott type not realizing how incredibly racist they were coming off. Yikes!

6 people found this helpful

  • 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.

44 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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As good as the other books but narration needs wor

Any additional comments?

Christy does a decent job differentiating the characters and all. I agree with others comments about the odd pauses.

My main issue is the voices is that some of them sound like cartoon voices from my little pony. Other accents are overkilled and sound very valley-ish. Most characters sound like they hate their own existence and I don't think that's the authors intention. It's quite hard to take the characters seriously with these issues.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good for a laugh but the narration is rough.

The book itself is good enough. A chuckle worthy satire of tech-fetishist pop culture. You are definitely getting what it says on the tin. Lots of violence, lots of fancy suits.

Where the audiobook falls down is in the narration. The cadence is off-putting, you can hear every line break. often glaring cuts from one take to another in midsentence, killing all inflection and dialogue momentum. And no offense to ms Carlson-Romano, as I'm sure it was as much to do with direction as performance, but I would rather have a performer not do character voices if so many of them are going to come out sounding either very samey or borderline racist caricature.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as I was expecting

I love the John Dies at the End books, so I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, I did not find this book to be as funny or interesting. I think I might have enjoyed it a little more if it had been shorter.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the book overall, plot was thin in places.

Enjoyed it overall. Plot had some pretty big holes that were left open. Places where characters didn't do things you know they really would have.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Can't Stand This Narrator

Any additional comments?

I've loved the John Dies at the End series, but I didn't really enjoy this one. I can't be sure how much of that is attributable to the godawful narrator. She puts pauses in inappropriate places (such as the middle of a sentence), has strange inflection around those pauses so you can't tell if she's ending a sentence / staring a new one, and she has a number of irritating mispronunciations. If you're being paid to narrate an audiobook and you goof up a word, go back and re-record it for crying out loud.

It's hard to actually get past the terrible narration to even think about the content of what I just listened to, but I really didn't find the fish-out-of-water standard hero plot very entertaining, though the writing style was funny and engaging.

2 people found this helpful

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    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.

19 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.

4 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.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 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.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-14-21

Deeply annoying protagonist

The first book I gave up on in years. A decent premise, but let down by a protagonist who infuriated me for the first few hours and humour that occasionally made me breathe out my nose slightly harder, but no more. Maybe it gets better, but I for one will not make it there.

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    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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  • 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.

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    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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  • Rh
  • 06-12-21

Whole lot of fun

This is more violent than I'd normally go for, but it was done really well and the overall black humour was incredible. Good characters, fun plot, not going to win a Booker prize, but so much more enjoyable to listen to than Atonement.

  • 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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  • Audiobooks Nest Reviews
  • 06-05-21

Insanely fun post-apocalyptic thriller

Thank you to the author for the free copy I received in return for an honest review.

Loved:
- The world as we know it has ended in the grimmest way possible? I’m in.
- The idea: Robots have taken over. Humans become robots, robots start acting like humans. It’s a thinker.
- Oh, the humanity: The characters really drove this story, bringing hope and humour to what could have been (ahem) robotic.
- The deep, dulcet tones of narrator, James Highfield.

Could Have Loved More:
- More vocal distinction between male/female characters. I got confused sometimes as to who was speaking.
- The ending felt a little rushed.

Shall I compare thee to…
William R Forstchen’s optimistic view of humanity in a Hugh Howey world.

Incidentally, Hugh Howey is quoted on the cover describing this book as “grim, dark, inventive”. I LOVE Howey’s books, but they are magnitudes of Armageddon grimmer and darker than this, so it struck me as interesting. Call me, Hugh. We must compare notes.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Toadjuggler
  • 05-31-21

Not great.

The narrator does a decent job with the material provided but that material is some weak, tired old stuff. It's like an early Neal Stephenson (think "Snowcrash") without Stephenson's intellect, erudition, research or wit. It took me about a third of the book before I realised that the author believes himself to be funny. He isn't. And he really isn't believable writing women, which is a shame because the main character is one.

Had it not been for Ms Romano's charm and hard work I wouldn't have finished this book and I won't be running off to listen to the sequel. Not even for free.

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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

  • 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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  • 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
Profile Image for Bianca-Jaye
  • 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
  • Story
    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