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Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

225735855 stars

 

 

Synopsis: 

Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.

Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…

Dark, haunting, and blisteringly satirical, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS is the story of one “man’s” attempt to finally become an individual in a world of copies

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Well, well, well – Mr Kozeniewski, I’ve uncovered two of your muses now – things in jars and the Simpsons!

Neither of those discoveries required much sleuthing on my part, to be fair – the jars thing becomes abundantly clear after 2 books (soon to be a third, my Kindle TBR list informs me!) and the Simpsons clip is the first hit when you Google ‘Billy and the Cloneasaurus’ but hey, I did the reading and the Googling so I’ll keep some credit for myself there.

Following a little more Googleage, I will be buying this shirt following my next pay day (my birthday is a little too close to start begging now! Turning the grand old age of twenty splurghhfledurfle on Sunday). I assume, of course, that the thigh gap and collar bones will be included?

Last month, I heard the exceptional audio to Kozeniewski’s other novel ‘Braineater Jones’ and so when I saw this book advertised, I just gave in to my One-Click-Buying compulsion.

My enthusiastic review can be found here

This book certainly met all my expectations (which were pretty high, I’ll admit) and I hope there’s an audio by Steve Rimpici on the horizon for this one so I can trick my nearest and dearest into listening to it.

 

This book had the dry humour I was expecting, however, the tone and atmosphere was completely different to that of Braineater Jones. Instead of a gritty crime noir theme, there was a clinical, suburban creepiness (think Stepford Wives). The narrative is utterly compelling and so easy to read, which is why I finished this book overnight.

The world is occupied by Williams, a clone race who identify each other by a designated number – on their 365th day on this planet, they are willingly executed and turned to slurry to feed their test tube replacements (JARS!!!) but our hapless hero William 790 isn’t executed as planned so he goes back to his life and starts to see the things that those around him aren’t capable of noticing…

Williams are the perfect workers and consumers – they work and spend, with nothing else in between and no capacity to question if there is something more they can be doing with their lives. Until, of course, William 790 starts discovering more about the world he lives in and questioning if there is such a thing as free will or if he’s just part of someone else’s master plan.

I can’t really look in depth at the characters in this book as it was really only the one character many times, but I loved the choice of ‘William’ to be the clone. He’s the perfect caricature of the white collar worker; he likes to leave work a little early, drink a couple too many beers of an evening, eat noodles in front of the TV in the evening and is disturbed by the unfamiliar and therefore not likely to go poking around.

The story is a great blend of humour and philosophical thought, it is utterly un-pretentious and may well have made my list of ‘books to buy in paperback’ for that hypothetical bookshelf I plan on having in the next few months.

 

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4 comments on “Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

  1. I really like the sound of that book. Just love quirky stuff with a touch of humour and philosophy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re on to something with the jars. Jars are featured in The Ghoul Archipelago too.
    I need to push this up my tbr.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] gas guzzling car. Stephen Kozeniewski, writer of Braineater Jones, The Ghoul Archipelago and Billy and The Cloneasaurus, brings an epic future […]

    Like

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