25 Points: So Say the Waiters

So Say The Waiters/book1/episodes 1-5
by Justin Sirois
Severed Books, 2012
293 pages / $13.99 (print) $6.99 (eBook) buy from or Amazon








1. This book reminds me also of the 90s Michael Douglas movie The Game in which a rich guy’s brother signs him up for a role play service which makes his life more interesting via nearly killing him such as in multiple car chase scenes as well as I think he rolls down a mountain wearing a suit at one point.

2. Justin Sirois has written a book about nicely done realistic people who are bartenders and in bands but this book is not annoying about that at all because it’s elegantly self-aware and spot on like every two seconds you let out an out loud Ha because yes everyone is exactly like how he depicts them but kinda lovingly actually I feel like he should write some epic movie about indie culture.

3. So the people in this book are called Waiters in a way because they are I think waiting for their lives to get going already but it’s not cheesy it’s good.

4. What it is is that they sign up for a service that kidnaps them and it’s got that “now you will appreciate your life more” thing going on but also it’s kinda Fight Club-ish but more cyberpunk.

5. “Cyberpunk is a postmodern science fiction genre noted for its focus on “high tech and low life.” The name was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story “Cyberpunk,” published in 1983. It features advanced science, such as information technology and cybernetics, coupled with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.” “”Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.” – Lawrence Person” -this is according to Wikipedia.

6. I cannot believe these Wikipedia bastards forgot to talk about William Gibson here. Did you ever read any William Gibson in middle school and then go home and wait five and a half hours for a Nine Inch Nails song to download through your parents dial-up modem in the basement at all?

7. That girl from the Dragon Tattoo books movies looks like she could be cyberpunk. What do you think she smells like?

8. Also Henry the main guy in Sirois’ book has just been dumped by his fiancee and every time he thinks about her it’s so effing sad and done well.

9. “At the cabinet, he reached for an upside-down glass in the highest shelf to find a hair tie somehow trapped like a bug inside it. The hair tie fell onto the counter…He stared at the hair tie…Screw your hair ties, Meghan. All of them…At least it was Friday.”

10. Guy needs a change in his life, enter friend who founded the escapism game, which btw is an app specifically for an iPhone is how you sign up for it.

11. You just hit a button on your phone and next thing you know you’re waiting for a pipe to the head.

12. Also a part of what Sirois is getting at is a commentary on popular culture regarding the fact that yes I do leave the dinner table to check text messages if it’s a bad date it’s not my fault the guy was all Milton invented the Western paradigm of Satan or whatever like everybody doesn’t know that so I made the food on my plate in the shape of a 666 and he just kept talking and I was like oh thank god there’s a buzzing in my purse from this phone will he see me look at it oh good here is a lipgloss. Sirois is like go outside I can hear you wrinkling from here, you boring person.

13. This book is divided in episodes and actually it would for sure do well as a popular tv show. I never watched Lost but I bet those people who did would like it as a tv show but I bet you a reader would like it because it’s totally all about escapism and yet grounded in these crazy on aspects of modern reality.

14. One of the girls in it is a band. Rock.

15. She drinks 40s on her roof after riding her bike home from work.

16. Friendship is important. No man is an island even if he really wants to be, no, he is not.

17. Oh my god what if Michael Douglas was in the tv version of this is he still alive?

18. This book makes me want to ride my bike again today.

19. Justin Sirois also sometimes writes about other countries. I think he is very concerned with the world in general, which, good dude, nice dude.

20. It’s written really, really well. It’s tightly written.

21. Every section ends with a cliffhanger and they’re always so poetic and ow my heart hurts from that then it’s like where is there someone who will kiss me now.

22. “Henry unlocked his phone, opened Steven’s contract, and typed: Yes.”

23. “Her safe word repeated in her head: merchandise, merchandise, merchandise.

24. “I’ve got the app but I’ve never submitted,” the girl next to him said. “Show me what you put in your submission.” “No way,” the guy laughed.” “All my settings are private,” the Waiter smiled and got up to leave. “I’ve gotta piss. If I don’t come back, you know what happened.” “Slick way to not pay the bill,” the guy yelled.

25. “Yeah the metal bands are great here.” Well you get it.

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  1. Golgonooza

      I cannot believe these Wikipedia bastards forgot to talk about William Gibson here./


      From the first section on cyberpunk from Wiki: “Primary exponents of the cyberpunk field include William Gibson…”

      Anyway, just finished reading Neuromancer, it was great but I couldn’t find the follow-up Count Zero in my local bookstore and I wanted to start it right away, oh well.

  2. davidpeak

      Just skip right to Pattern Recognition. You will be glad you did.

  3. Golgonooza

      Oh, I’ll read that eventually (and two that follow) but I’m still more interested in the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies at the moment. I also thought I read something about Gibson working on a new book involving multiple futures or something?

  4. lindhquist

      “Did you ever read any William Gibson in middle school and then go home
      and wait five and a half hours for a Nine Inch Nails song to download
      through your parents dial-up modem in the basement at all?”

      that is gold. there’s something there. probably not the “the future is unevenly distributed” thing; it taps more into the gulf between the imagined and the real, how one would never fit into the other.

      Jeff Noon’s Channel Sk1n is a prose poem in the form of a novel that deals exactly with that feeling of powerlessness that emerges when reality and imagination are superimposed. It’s a reimagined and augmented now that serves as a reminder of what might have been, but wasn’t and isn’t.

  5. Justin Sirois
  6. Victor Schultz

      yeah he said the next one is “way future” and involves two futures.