Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe

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Jamestown 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.

About Matthew Sharpe

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Matthew Sharpe is the author of the novels The Sleeping Father (Soft Skull, 2003, translated into nine languages) and Nothing Is Terrible (Villard, 2000) as well as the short-story collection Stories from the Tube (Villard, 1998). He teaches creative writing at Wesleyean University. His stories and essays have appeared in Harper's, Zoetrope, BOMB, McSweeney's, American Letters & Commentary, Southwest Review, and Teachers & Writers magazine.
Published March 15, 2007 by Soft Skull Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jamestown

The New York Times

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Matthew Sharpe imagines resettling Virginia in a post-apocalyptic future.

May 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Jamestown

AV Club

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History repeats itself as a post-apocalyptic world lives out the story of America's first colony.

Apr 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Jamestown

Entertainment Weekly

Matthew Sharpe's 2003 novel, The Sleeping Father, was a Today Book Club pick, a blessing that's unlikely for his new Jamestown, a vulgar, cacophonous Sound and the Fury-style book for the wired generation, featuring all your favorite Jamestown characters tossed into a postapocalyptic salad.

Mar 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Jamestown


My dad didn’t make it up, my mom did before she died, and he’s kind of mad because that that’s my name because anyone who says my name name will die., which has been proven, but right now I can’t talk about that because in English, which isn’t my mom tongue, you can talk only about one thing at t...

Feb 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Jamestown

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