Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pg. 69: "The End As I Know It"

Today's feature at The Page 69 Test: Kevin Shay's The End as I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety.

About the novel:

It’s 1998. Or, as Randall Knight sees it, Y2K minus two. Randall, a twenty-five-year-old children’s singer and puppeteer, has discovered the clock is ticking toward a worldwide technological cataclysm. But he may still be able to save his loved ones—if he can convince them to prepare for the looming catastrophe. That’s why he’s quit his job, moved into his car, and set out to sound the alarm.

The End as I Know It follows Randall on his coast-to-coast Cassandra tour. His itinerary includes the elementary schools that have booked him as a guest performer and the friends and relatives he must awaken to the crisis. When nobody will heed his warning, Randall spirals into despair and self-destruction as he races from one futile visit to the next. At the end of his rope, he lands with a family of newly minted survivalists in rural Texas. There, he meets a woman who might help him transcend his millennial fears and build a new life out of the shards of his old one.

Among the praise for the novel:

Kevin Shay has come up with a funny, twisted, razor-sharp lens with which to view the very distant recent past. The End as I Know It will leave you laughing, and refusing to cry. A deeply rewarding journey for anyone who may have felt like the only American without the requisite bright future in America, circa 1999 — the only ones certain we weren’t worth a million on paper. The party in America has been over for seemingly as long as one can remember, but then Kevin Shay turns up like your only friend who took the right kind of pictures. And somehow you feel better.
—Dan Kennedy, author of Loser Goes First

After reading just a few pages of The End As I Know It, I knew that I did not want it to end. Kevin Shay is a wonderfully funny novelist, a creator of deft (sometimes daft) comic moments, and his story is completely irresistible.
—Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All

Kevin Shay brilliantly mines tension from the gap between the fears of 1999 and the reality of Y2K, and he does it with incredible humor and heart. The End as I Know It is a funny, profound, effortless book.
—Kevin Guilfoile, author of Cast of Shadows

The End as I Know It is a smart, funny, disturbing and, yes, charming novel that had me waxing nostalgic for the not-so-long-ago days when a simple digital anomaly was the only thing vying for attention in the pantheon of Things That Scare the Living Crap Out of Me.
—James P. Othmer, author of The Futurist

Visit Kevin Shay's website and his MySpace page, and read an excerpt from The End As I Know It.

The Page 69 Test: Kevin Shay's The End as I Know It.

--Marshal Zeringue