Bombshell: A Novel is included with Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood,
and We Are Water by Wally Lamb in After Ellen‘s 2013 list of
“50 Reasons We’re Thankful We’re Gay Ladies” at number 6.
What a fantastic pleasure to be included in such an illustrious list
and in such fine company. Thank you After Ellen.com
See the 50 Reasons at After Ellen, right HERE!
“So many great “Avantpop” works—Steve Erickson’s Amnesiascope, Jonathan Lethem’s
early genre novels, most everything by Kathy Acker—are hanging out, waiting for
adventurous oddball filmmakers to adapt them, bringing delightful visions of an American
wasteland to silver screens everywhere! Bombshell, a novel by James Reich, descends from
this literary sensibility, and it forges the conventions of the thriller with the aesthetics of punk
rock; in other words, it’s art film gold.”
Read the full review at Three Guys One Book HERE:
In addition to a recent pick by Ms. Magazine, Bombshell is featured in the New York
Times Book Review ‘Shortlist’ of International Thrillers.
“Somewhere between the macho-hipster fantasies of Quentin Tarantino and the banshee-activist
theatrics of Pussy Riot dwells Varyushka Cash…Now that’s entertainment.”
- New York Times Book Review
Dropping a Bombshell: Thriller author explodes nuclear tourism and genre archetypes
“Finding myself in New Mexico, cradle of the Bomb, is a kind of necessary existential perversity,”
Reich said. “I love New Mexico, but in terms of Bombshell, that violent fury that Cash brings
against the nuclear industry is, in essence, my own. The thriller genre is conventionally chauvinist,”
Reich explained, “so Cash’s attachment to Valerie Solanas [radical feminist and attempted assassin
of Andy Warhol] is intended to subvert that. Solanas is marginalized—within feminism, even. So,
with Cash being born in what is now an exclusion zone in the former Soviet Union, she is alienated
geographically, existentially and even to an extent within her mode of revolt.”
Read Brianna Stallings’ interview for The Alibi in full HERE
Author James Reich photographed by Eric Williams
“Bombshell, James Reich’s second novel, is an incredibly dense, rich, and well-paced novel.
Within its 259 pages the reader encounters Chernobyl, feminism, terrorism, rendition, Valerie
Solanas, Jane Fonda, Hiroshima, the Trinity test site, and much more. In the hands of another
novelist, this sheer mass of information and references might result in a novel bloated with
digressions. Luckily, Reich’s punchy, no bullshit prose style and love of action keeps the plot
moving swiftly ever forward toward a seemingly inevitable, doom-filled climax that has much
to say about nuclear power without ever feeling pedantic. …At any given moment, the “forbidden
space” of Chernobyl can lay itself over whatever place Cash is in, as is seen above, or when
new-New York City becomes Chernobyl by the end of the book. Rather than causing confusion,
this masterful strategy of Reich’s brings the reader even deeper inside Cash’s psyche, and suggests
a circularity or interconnectedness to the world and its past, present, and future selves. James
Reich’s new novel stands out because, for all the loudness of its characters and subject matter,
it manages to feel subtle and seamless in its execution. It’s a novel that doesn’t sacrifice politics
for plot, or vice versa, and it’s a novel that will pass by too quickly and leave you wondering
what in the world its author will dream up next.”
Read the full review at The Rumpus HERE
“When hunting for a summer read, the obvious thing to look for is explosions.
Explosions and something a little sexy, a little decadent, a little radical. Moving cars,
motels, an impossible goal, down-and-out characters. James Reich’s Bombshell
is all of these except inside out. Imagine an unhinged heroine, a criminal road trip,
a dark race to jumpstart America’s first total nuclear meltdown. Bombshell is an entirely
creative recasting of the summer read, peppered with historical tidbits that will inspire
both your fascination and repulsion. …Reich tends to adopt a mellifluous tone, but he
is at his best when evoking the visual language of comic books. In one scene Cash jumps
into the Rio Grande to escape the authorities. Her clothes and bag become dead weight
and she struggles to stay afloat. Reich writes, “Water flecked and then poured into her
windpipe as the current hauled her down. Cash began to drown, kicking weakly and
reaching blindly into the nothingness that swallowed her. She coughed water into water.
Silver bulbs exploded.” Very Tank Girl. Explosions, heroines, terrorists.
It’s what summer is all about.”
Via KQED/NPR – Read the full review HERE
“…A violent, blistering literary thriller with twists and thrills and plenty of complex characterizations.
James Reich has created an entirely new kind of anti-heroine in Varyushka Cash – she’s both
dangerous and sympathetic, a methodical killer on a quest for the greater good, and yet she is neither
idealistic nor cold. Robert Dresner would be the “good guy” in a typical thriller, and yet here he is almost
as dangerous as Cash is. The supporting cast is just as compelling: there’s Molly Pinkerton, Cash’s neighbor,
a transgendered Vietnam vet turned artist; Cross Spikes, Dresner’s covert renditions team; and the radical
women of Cash’s past, one of whom turns out to be entangled with Dresner. These characters go to extremes,
yes, but under Reich’s skillful hand, they are sharp and distinct without veering into caricature.
…Bombshell is layered with histories both personal and global, touching on Oppenheimer and the
Manhattan Project, Valerie Solanas’ notorious SCUM Manifesto and her attempted murder of Andy
Warhol, Three Mile Island, the astrologer of the Reagan administration – it’s a lot, especially for only
267 pages, but James Reich earns every bit of it. The novel, like Varyushka Cash herself, serves as a
warning against the power of our decaying nuclear facilities, but also something potentially more
dangerous: the entropy of the modern world, the natural chaos to which everything returns.
The conclusion may be bleak, but Bombshell’s incandescent prose makes it all harshly satisfying.”
Read the full review online HERE
Read ’Bombshell: A Novel’
“Reich’s novel is chock full of explosive ideas conveyed with radioactive prose.
His heroine Varyushka Cash makes Lisbeth Salander look like a dimwitted Mary Poppins.
This is dangerous fiction – handle with extreme caution.”
—Isaac Adamson, Edgar Award Finalist, Complication
“Bombshell is great stuff, and James Reich writes like a demon. He invokes figures
as wonderfully diverse as Valerie Solanas and Nancy Reagan’s astrologer as icons
in a supremely bizarre, darkly humorous universe. Varyushka Cash is a heroine for the ages.”
– Mary Dearborn, Mailer: A Biography
“James Reich’s Bombshell delivers on every artistic level: visionary story, beautiful language
and an unforgettable, emotionally resilient and iron-tough heroine, in this politically charged,
indelibly smart, wild and electrifying powerhouse of a book.”
- Emily Rapp, The Still Point of the Turning World
“Like Cormac McCarthy wandering a William Burroughs wasteland while blasting
a riot grrrl mixtape on a scavenged Walkman!”
- S.A. Crary, Kill Your Idols, Director
“Reich is a formidable writer. He brings his characters and events to life with cinematic clarity.
His eye for detail makes even the familiar seem alien. Above all he gives form to the terrifying
invisible nuclear air that envelopes us all. Bombshell is a cautionary tale well told, offered up by
a passionate and supremely gifted new author.”
- Malcolm Mc Neill, Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook, and Me
“Defiant, toothsome, and flaming with color, the voice of James Reich is one of the most exciting
to emerge in recent years; he is both something new and something wholly real. If it is possible
for a true underground writer to exist anymore, he is that author. Bombshell is sublime.”
- Stephen E. Andrews, author of 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels
“The feminist heroine is a fresh twist on the thriller genre.” —Kirkus