Synopses & Reviews
chronicles a group of "settlers" (more like survivors) from the ravaged island of Manhattan, departing just as the Chrysler Building has mysteriously plummeted to the earth. This ragged band is heading down what's left of I-95 in a half-school bus, half-Millennium Falcon. Their goal is to establish an outpost in southern Virginia, find oil, and exploit the Indians controlling the area.
Based on actual accounts of the Jamestown settlement from 1607 to 1617, Jamestown features historical characters including John Smith, Pocahontas, and others enacting an imaginative re-version of life in the pioneer colony. In this retelling, Pocahontas's father Powhatan is half-Falstaff, half-Henry V, while his consigliere is a psychiatrist named Sidney Feingold. John Martin gradually loses body parts in a series of violent encounters, and John Smith is a ruthless and pragmatic redhead continually undermining the aristocratic leadership.
Communication is by text-messaging, IMing, and, ultimately, telepathy. Punctuated by jokes, rhymes, "rim shot" dialogue, and bloody black-comic tableaux, Jamestown is a trenchant commentary on America's past and present that confirms Matthew Sharpe's status as a major talent in contemporary fiction.
"[A] vulgar, cacophonous Sound and the Fury-style book for the wired generation, featuring all your favorite Jamestown characters tossed into a postapocalyptic salad. Like a gorier George Saunders. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"[A] gonzo reimagining of the founding of the famous Virginia colony, which this year celebrates its 400th anniversary....It's all quite entertaining but may bewilder those hoping for a more conventional narrative (not to mention those unfamiliar with the history of the real Jamestown colony)." Houston Chronicle
"At heart a dystopian love story, Jamestown is also a satire of American myth-making, a witty reflection on the practice of history, and a wry, wounded celebration of the jouissance of sexual pleasure, devotion, art and language, even in a world where necessity has trumped desire." Newsday
"[A] wild, violent, mordantly hilarious retelling of how the first permanent English settlement in the New World came into being." Los Angeles Times
A band of futuristic survivors from the cataclysmic decimation of the Chrysler Building sets out to establish an outpost in southern Virginia with an intention of finding oil and exploiting the region's Native American controllers, an effort aided by text-messaging technology and telepathic plots. By the author of The Sleeping Father.
About the Author
Matthew Sharpe is the author of Stories from the Tube. He has published stories in Zoetrope, Harper's, American Letters and Commentary, Witness, The Quarterly, and Fiction. He lives in New York.