Parasites Like Us

Parasites Like Us

Adam Johnson / Nov 27, 2020

Parasites Like Us Hailed as remarkable by the New Yorker Emporium earned Adam Johnson comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and T C Boyle Now in Parasites Like Us he takes us on an enthralling journey through memory time a

  • Title: Parasites Like Us
  • Author: Adam Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780142004777
  • Page: 489
  • Format: Paperback
  • Hailed as remarkable by the New Yorker, Emporium earned Adam Johnson comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and T C Boyle Now, in Parasites Like Us, he takes us on an enthralling journey through memory, time, and the cost of mankind s quest for his own past Anthropologist Hank Hannah has just illegally exhumed an ancient American burial site and winds up in jail But the law wHailed as remarkable by the New Yorker, Emporium earned Adam Johnson comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and T C Boyle Now, in Parasites Like Us, he takes us on an enthralling journey through memory, time, and the cost of mankind s quest for his own past Anthropologist Hank Hannah has just illegally exhumed an ancient American burial site and winds up in jail But the law will soon be the least of his worries For, buried beside the bones, a timeless menace awaits that will set the modern world back twelve thousand years and send Hannah on a quest to save that which is dearest to him A brilliantly evocative and haunting cautionary adventure, Parasites Like Us will earn Johnson an immense audience of devoted fans.

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      Published :2020-08-12T12:03:29+00:00

    About "Adam Johnson"

      • Adam Johnson

        Adam Johnson was born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona He earned a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University in 1992 a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University, in 1996 and a PhD in English from Florida State University in 2000 Johnson is currently a San Francisco writer and associate professor in creative writing at Stanford University He founded the Stanford Graphic Novel Project and was named one of the nation s most influential and imaginative college professors by Playboy Magazine His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper s, and The Paris Review He is the author of Emporium, a short story collection and the novel, Parasites Like Us, which won the California Book Award His most recent novel, The Orphan Master s Son, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


    1. Dear Mr. Johnson,Please end the world more quickly in your next book. It turns out you are way more interesting when you're destroying humanity. It took us about five pages to realize how lame Hank was. Then you kept establishing that fact for half the book. Props to your sweet apocalypse, but we could use some more of it.Sweet. Thanks.Sincerely,Erin

    2. It was the playwright that got to me. I was already into this book. Digging it, if you will. On page 272, a playwright gets gunned down and, as he dies, he begs our hero to "Find my play." He even tells the hero where to find it and then asks him to make necessary changes. "In Act IV," he instructs, "erase the cruel words that Lonnie speaks. He doesn't mean it. I know that now." This got to me. Isn't this one of the reasons we choose to write? For immortality, for recognition even after we die? [...]

    3. Guh. You know, who doesn't love a good end-of-the-world story, to say nothing of an end of the world story involving a tarblack sense of humor and a big, burning pig, but I swear I just don't know how many more books we need about past-their-prime academics who can't get a handle on their lives who muddle through their role as an uninspiring lead.I mean, I tried sticking around (like 'Titanic') to see the world end, but this book couldn't get out of its own way -- it pretty much droned on and on [...]

    4. Adam Johnson's writing must have made a massive leap forward to win the Pulitzer prize for 'The Orphan Masters Son' as this turned out to be a bit of a disjointed mess. On the snowy landscape of South Dakota anthropologist Hank Hannah along with a crazy student of his make a discovery that will go on to have catastrophic consequences for mankind while digging on an ancient burial site.To best describe this would be a 'darkly comic apocalyptic nightmare', and things did start promising but went d [...]

    5. Horrible writing. I can't help but shake the feeling that the author wrote this in grad school with the hopes it would be picked up for a movie. But the writing and especially the dialogue are suitable for only a Sci-Fi Network TV-Movie.Midlife Crisis Academic - CheckQuirky Old Man - CheckCold Woman eventually warms up to Midlife Crisis Academic - CheckVarious slapstick shenanigans - CheckAdventures with animals, extreme weather, military and various other things to spice up a movie script. - Ch [...]

    6. "After trashing his cherry '72 Corvette, illegally breaking into an ancient burial site, and snacking on 12,000-year-old popcorn, Hank Hannah finds that he's inadvertently unleashed the apocalypse," begins the blurb on the back cover of Adam Johnson's debut novel, last year's Parasites Like Us. Sounds pretty interesting, doesn't it? It certainly did to me. Interesting enough for me to buy the book on a whim when I saw it at a discount book store. I had seen the novel a year earlier when it had j [...]

    7. This is the best end-of-the-world novel I've ever read. What begins as a razor-sharp satire of academia (tenured professors who've lost their passion, grad students trying to make a name for themselves, the tedious social order of the university) and archeology slowly boils into a equally sharp portrayal of a world collapsing on itself. Though the novel ends on a rather bleak note--Johnson finds little salvation in humanity's struggle--it is as realistic and darkly comedic as you might hope an a [...]

    8. I am left with a 'huh?' feeling after finishing this book. It feels like there was so much build up and then it ended so quickly, like the author ran over a deadline and had to wrap it up. The climax is so rushed over, that it could easily be missed (I had to go back and read it twice). Why all the mom-issues that he spent ages agonizing about are never referred to after the climax? Julia (or is it Yulia??) - why the obsession? Still don't get it.The end of the world scenario is a frightening id [...]

    9. While the premise is interesting, this is an example of a book with terrible pacing. The beginning of the book crawled, and too much was jammed into the end. It felt like two different book crammed into one. At the end, I was annoyed with myself for finishing the book.

    10. The book jacket for Parasites Like Us states, "Times are changing in South Dakota. Birds are disappearing. Dogs are turning on mankind. Hogs are no more." This is all true--by about chapter nine of twelve. (And these are long chapters.) More than half of the book is taken up with the protagonist's life as an academic, his relationship with his students, his relationship with his father (and his dead stepmother and the mother who abandoned him as a child), and his infatuation with a new woman, Yu [...]

    11. I just loved The Orphan Master's son and thought I would go back to early Adam Johnson to get a good idea of his humble roots. But this book was weird. Not really even a good weird. Kind of a gross weird. There's a lot of archaeology talk in here which turns out to be more existential than Jurassic Park. Throw in some post apocalyptic stuff and there you have it. I think it was certainly creative but most of the time the concept was lost on me. I still think he's great though! Go Adam Go!

    12. Interesting premise (anthropologist disturbs an artifact in an ancient burial mound and triggers the apocalypse); but the development was rambling, poorly written and completely boring.Full disclosure: I stopped reading this book with only about 40 pages to go, because I just couldn't stand it any longer.

    13. wow, i can't believe i hadn't read this before, or that none of my friends insisted i read it--it is so perfectly up my alley, and so well-done.why does it inhabit the alley? because there's a lot to be learned in this book, in this case about how people who dig up other people for a living view the world. our hero, Hank Hannah, is sliding rather too rapidly into the academic dustbin (but he has tenure!). his love life is nonexistent. his family is shattered; he has only one friend. he has two o [...]

    14. I read this book after reading Adam Johnson's second novel, the Orphan Master's Son, which won the Pulitzer. I was interested in seeing how he got to that book, which I thought was incredible. To be honest, I was kind of surprised. Parasites Like Us takes place in a much less interesting setting, South Dakota. Narrator Hank Hannah is a self-absorbed professor trying to come to terms with the death of his step-mother and the fact that his career is quickly becoming something of a joke. He has two [...]

    15. A challenging and different read taking place in South Dakota. A nebbish and initially unappealing anthropology professor whose field is Clovis - the forerunners of American Indians - and his two top PhD students find a 12,000 year old skeleton and artifacts. A virus from an artifact kills 99.99999% of mankind within 10 days.While I liked Johnson's Orphan Master's Son more, Parasites is quite intriguing.

    16. I was disappointed by a plague with a 99.99999999% kill rate and 100% transmission and a < 1 week timetable, even though that sort of scenario crops up perpetually in fiction. And a poor male:female basis for human survival; too much literary, not enough science. On the other hand, I really liked the characters, the sense of place, and the academic aspect.It may be that I now know too much about plagues to ever really enjoy such a scenario.

    17. I was very looking forward to reading this one since I loved the brilliant 'The Orphan Master's Son' that should win all the awards and that still wouldn't say how amazing the book is. This one is interesting! It's a bit like a humorous Darwinian apocalypse tale, with shades of Kurt Vonnegut (especially 'Cat's Cradle' with the scientists as main characters and the icy doom this one even has little drawings reminiscent of Vonnegut's.) It also reminded me of T.C. Boyle's smart and detailed writing [...]

    18. Dr Hank Hannah is a professor of anthropology at the University of Southeastern South Dakota. In this novel, we learn of how he studies the Clovis people – the first humans to cross the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia 12,000 years previously, created an empire, exploited the lands resources and then disbanded into over 600 Native American tribes. Much of this book is ironic and filled with dark humour; tying in the exploitation of the land so long ago to events in the present. Hannah has two s [...]

    19. Hank Hannah is an anthropologist working at The University of South Eastern South Dakota. He once wrote a book about the Clovis people, the first people to cross the Bering Strait to North America, and who were thought to have caused the extinction of 35 species of mammals. He is no longer held in such high esteem by his peers, having produced nothing of note since writing his book “The Depletionists”. He is supervising two anthropology students – Eggers is living in the style of the Clovi [...]

    20. One of the best typos ever: Instead of dropping the tranny (transmission), someone "drops the tyranny." Fight the power!199: "I've taken a liking to a dish I call 'culvert surprise.'"It also took me till page 199 to read the title's "like" as a verb instead of only a preposition.The pacing is uneven and the two parts of the book don't quite flow but they're both great so that's okay. It bothers me that I can't pin "Parkton" with its "University of Southeastern South Dakota" to a particular place [...]

    21. I would echo a few of the really good reviews of Parasites Like Us written by readers. Like them, after I read Adam Johnson's astonishing novel of North Korea, The Orphan Master's Son, I wanted to read everything Johnson had written. I did notice that the critics spoke more, and very highly, of his short-story collection, Emporium, than they did of Johnson's first novel Parasites Like Us.I can see why. It's overconceptualized, the characters are thin, and, as others have said, it tends to drone [...]

    22. Adam Johnson has an amazing book in him. This is not that book: with its narrator who shades a bit too detestable and its frankly baffling pacing it's pretty far from it in fact. Even the comparatively brilliant Orphan Master's Son is not that book. But there are enough moments here where Johnson is note-perfect to prove to me that he will eventually get one just right and to guarantee that I'll be reading everything he writes, waiting for that day.

    23. I completely loved this wild fable of deconstruction. Johnson is whip smart and if you enjoy erudite, funny, and elucidating writing, look no further. It took much longer than usual to finish this novel as I found myself re-reading passage upon passage, sometimes just to let the language flow over me and sometimes to reflect and absorb the little miracles of truth spread throughout.The plot involves the circuitous route that a ragtag fellowship of anthropologist students, their professor, and ot [...]

    24. As an avid reader of campus/academia-themed novels, including many of David Lodge's, I'm gonna be bold and say this could be the best. It's certainly the most imaginative--surreal and post-apocalyptic--a first in my campus novel experience. Johnson is a satirist, though. No reason to be bleak about the end of the world here--not when Hank Hannah, a professor of anthropology at a third-tier university in Sorth Dakota is in charge--a Clovis expert, who has been trying to reign in a particular grad [...]

    25. I thought this would be a standard post apocalyptic novel - and I was caught off guard. The majority of the book takes place in the immediate lead up to the expected apocalypse, and it created a tension of knowing what is coming that I really enjoyed. I have not read a novel with an approach like this, and it was really stimulating. It reminded me at first of Station Eleven or The Sparrow; both expose a significant event from before and after it in order to build suspense. This story had hints o [...]

    26. Johnson's cavalier take on the end of civilization is fun even if it's just because you feel like he's letting you in on a private joke regarding the ultimate idiocy and futility of the human race. In that sense, he was ahead of his time with this novel. It was pretty advanced global cynicism.Nevertheless the novel makes you care about his characters, largely sad mongrels, none of them offering too much by way of salvation, yet in the end, that's what they need to become. I'd like to say that's [...]

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