So You Wanna Run a Country?: A Novel (Hardcover)

So You Wanna Run a Country?: A Novel By Kevin Holohan Cover Image
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Description


A satirical cyberpunk romp pitting fascist feudalism against rampant reality television corruption, with the future of humanity at stake


"Holohan's prose pops and crackles as he combines an outlandish yet convincing vision of a tech-dominated future reminiscent of William Gibson with the wry wit of Neil Gaiman, and the result proves exceedingly funny . . . Holohan's silly dystopia, replete with ridiculous place names ("Newer York" and "Grander Central Station") and winking acronyms ("Consumer-Responsive Unscripted Drama"), strikes an utterly enjoyable medium between Futurama and Infinite Jest . . . A raucous, engrossing, unsettling whirlwind of a story that is as disarmingly novel as it is disturbingly familiar." —Kirkus Reviews


So You Wanna Run a Country? is a satirical parable of the perils of authoritarianism, nationalism, and device-dependent group-think. After almost a century of being shut off from the rest of the world in self-imposed isolation, the neo-medieval statelet of Inner Azhuur suddenly volunteers to host the next season of the global streaming sensation So You Wanna Run a Country? The producers must now assemble the next crew of unqualified misfits whose ineptitude as they attempt to run the country will entertain billions across the globe.


From Newer York, where homelessness has been eliminated by rebranding it as a Thoroughfarian lifestyle choice, come Mooney and Wendy who meet while sleeping in discarded pipes on a vacant lot—one seemingly directed by Captain Dude, a statue attached to a skateboard, and one on the run after deliberately crashing a large chunk of the speculative economy. Cast as Regent of Inner Azhuur and Consort to the Regent, they are joined by Skid, a Dubliner kicked out of his fledgling band and eager to escape a stultifying job as a tourist ambiance fake street menace in Glasgow.


Arriving in Inner Azhuur, these three encounter a world of antiquated and indecipherable customs, all meant to glorify the vanished ruler, General D'Izmaïe, and return Inner Azhuur to some perceived former glory. As the reality show unfolds, our misfits are enmeshed in a mad power grab of overweening global ambition and find themselves in a struggle against the all-too-real, ruthless and sinister power brokers of Inner Azhuur. Holohan's mischievous literary voice is sure to please fans of cyberpunk greats like Philip K. Dick and William Gibson.



About the Author


KEVIN HOLOHAN’s debut novel was the critically-acclaimed The Brothers’ Lot, which the Times Literary Supplement called “a witty, brilliant, devastating expression of outrage.” A native of Dublin, Kevin now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. Holohan has performed the works of Beckett, Joyce, and others at the Irish Arts Center, An Béal Bocht Café, and Dixon Place. His stories and essays have appeared in the Sunday Tribune, Whispers and Shouts, the Irish Echo, and writing.ie. His most recent novel is So You Wanna Run a Country? which Kirkus Reviews has called "a raucous, engrossing, unsettling whirlwind of a story that is as disarmingly novel as it is disturbingly familiar."

Praise For…


Holohan’s prose pops and crackles as he combines an outlandish yet convincing vision of a tech-dominated future reminiscent of William Gibson with the wry wit of Neil Gaiman, and the result proves exceedingly funny . . . Holohan’s silly dystopia, replete with ridiculous place names (“Newer York” and “Grander Central Station”) and winking acronyms (“Consumer-Responsive Unscripted Drama”), strikes an utterly enjoyable medium between Futurama and Infinite Jest . . . A raucous, engrossing, unsettling whirlwind of a story that is as disarmingly novel as it is disturbingly familiar.

— Kirkus Reviews

In a dystopian cyberpunk future, the eponymous reality show replaces the governments of small countries with underqualified contestants who struggle to lead, all for the sake of mass entertainment.
— Publishers Weekly

[A] wacky, freewheeling cyberpunk story by the author of The Brothers’ Lot.

— Booklist

Original, deftly crafted, iconoclastic, thought-provoking, entertaining, and very definitely a novel for our times, So You Wanna Run a Country? will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic science fiction.

— Midwest Book Review

Nothing this madcap should be this chilling. A heat-seeking missile for the facades which dress despotism up and give it cover, So You Wanna Run a Country? is fueled by that scorching satire we saw in Kevin Holohan's debut, The Brothers' Lot—but this time the whole planet's on fire. Visionary, virtuoso, and violently funny, this novel looks directly at the eclipse that is twenty-first-century life and somehow comes away with the strangest floaters of hope.

— Belinda McKeon, author of Tender

Here's a book of rare and savory humor. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, the silky political subtext—echoes of Gibson and Orwell—the integrity of the imagined world, and something all-prevalent and crafted so subtly as scarcely to draw attention to itself, the author's trust in the reader's intelligence. The projection of the digital world of spectacle leaves a chilling aftertaste that is both timely and salutary, yet there is a note of hope and yearning that soars beyond the allegorical and satirical strands of the story.
— Theo Dorgan, author of Orpheus
Product Details
ISBN: 9781636141602
ISBN-10: 1636141609
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English