"'Fifteen block. They make it easy less there's random senselessness.'" - Iz, Random Acts

Random Acts of Senseless Violence, despite its title, is not an action, adventure, or horror novel. Rather, it is a dystopian and speculative fiction novel by Jack Womack (a rhyming name). First published in 1993 in Britain, this little-known novel is a tightly compressed wad of good writing.
Wiki by Diana Liu (an unrhyming name).






Plot Summary


Book Cover
Book Cover

Random Acts of Senseless Violence is written as the diary of one Lola Hart. Lola is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Manhattan, with an increasingly distant screenwriter father, who is fired and then hired by a relentless, Boris Vian-esque bookshop, her anti-depressant-addicted mother, and her little sister whom she nicknames Boob. While society is quickly descending into chaos around her, she lives her own life as we live all our lives. The horrors of the downward spiraling society - rampant tuberculosis (known as "beri beri"), crazed people, inept government, public shootings, permanently domestic-occupying federal troops, assassinated presidents on drugs, drunken homeless, impenetrable slums, raging metropolitan fires - only seep through on the insensitive news, brushes with the outside world, or shockingly careless comments by a character that scream what? When Lola's family is beset by financial troubles, much to her disgrace and displeasure, she is forced to move out of her posh upper-city apartment and private school into the slums, where much of these are shoved into her face. She learns the ways of the street, makes gangster friends and enemies, explores her sexuality, and grows apart from her family in a disturbing, psychologically corrupt bildungsroman.





Characters


In order of appearance:

Lola Hart

12-year-old protagonist; lives-in-comfort-girl turned street-wise killer. Her evolution as a character is represented in part by the masterful language of the book. Early on, she unwillingly reads Silas Marner and Tess of the D'Urbervilles at her private girls' school, Brearley, and speaks in long, innocent or innocently harsh run-ons ("He's fifteen but he has an evil baby face so her parents don't know he's as old as he is though they still don't like him she says," "I don't like Los Angeles or Chicago. They're horrible places and I'm glad they're burning down.") and smoothly - yet jarringly - adopts street argot for her own. Her grammar becomes harsher, less cultured, painfully lovely and rhythmic: "Lookabout people. Beef me overlong and I groundbound you express. Down down down you go down and I be bottomed out set to catch...Crazy evilness be my design if that's what needs wearing. All people herebound be evilsouled heartside, no ho they sweet talk. Shove do push and push do shove and everbody in this world leave lovelost hereafter. Lookabout. Chase me if you want" (255).

Family


Boob (Cheryl) Hart:
Intensely spoiled little sister who cannot accept change. Clings to a My L'il Fetus for comfort early on. She cannot adapt to the new, slummy environment after the move; snotty friends reject her but she still loves them. Her descension into depression escalated by her sister Lola's (who she calls Booz) unwillingness to share her problems. She starts to fear her sister after rumors float around that lesbian Lola will rape her. No one knows what do with Boob, strangely sadistic, poor lonely loved Boob.
Faye Hart:
Lola's mother is always well-meaning. She deliberately turns her back on anything resembling societal or personal unrest, and escapes by dosing heavily on antidepressants. Mama used to each English at NYU (references to contemporary culture are rampant) but since has been fired, and edits manuscripts to contribute to the dwindling family funds. When Lola's father dies, she is utterly lost and becomes inconsolably addicted. Clueless about Lola's street going-ons.
Michael Hart:
Lola and Boob's father belonged to the Screenwriters Guild, but has since been out of work, as no one will buy his manuscripts. Handles finances poorly and ends up being exploited to death by Mister Mossbacher. Grows increasingly distant and weary throughout.
Aunt Chrissie:
Lives in a state of self-enforced denial in California. Angrily criticizes Faye and Michael for being horrible parents, as they initially refuse sending Boob and Lola over to live with her in a supposedly more peaceable, though heavily guarded, home. Is a bit of a female dog.

Private School Friends


Katherine:
One of Lola's best posh upper-middle-class private school friends to whom sexual abuse from father is strongly implied. Does not mean to be a bad friend, but cannot feel as if she can be exiled the same way Lola is, so she distances herself to avoid being labeled "dyke."
Lori:
Lola's other best friend, whom she is slightly closer to. Lori, unlike Katherine, is loud and rebellious. This, interestingly, leaves our main character Lola as the monkey in the middle (as in Herland, Handmaid's Tale, or even Player Piano to some degree). Being both vaguely bellicose and a partial conformist, her actions are framed on both sides by the extremes of Lori and Katherine. Lola is like Vans, being surrounded by Terry and Jeff, or Offred (Moira and True Believers), or Paul Proteus (Finnerty and Shepherd). In any case, it seems as if authors surround their characters with people from both extremes to add complexity to the protagonists.
Meanwhile, Lori's "unrespectable" behavior causes her to be sent to Kure-A-Kid camp, a grotesque concentration or reform camp or sorts, through which is brainwashed and robbed of most sentient and intelligent ability.

Street Companions


Iz:
Isabel is Lola's first and closet friend, the only one on the streets who looks past the fact that Lola is white and who actually loves her. Lola is insanely attracted to Iz, both as a friend and as a lover. A bit of an older sister figure.
Jude:
Jude feels like she has a claim on Iz, and that Lola is threatening to their relationship. Iz respects Judy, who goes exclusively by Jude, who is mostly inclusive, but also close to Weez. Barbadian leader of the Death Angels, the gang that includes Iz and Weezie, who later leaves because of Lola. They steal money.
Weezie:
Takes an instant disliking to Lola's whiteness, who manages to insult her. Weezie tries to kill Lola, almost kills Boob, and joins the DCons, the evilest, darkest gang out there. Once you go you can't get back.

Mister Mossbacher

The evil and psychotic bookseller who keeps Lola's father and works him to death in his hell-run bookstore, Excelsior. The reason why Lola joins the DCons.






Author Background

Jack Womack is a necromancer with words. He brings them back from the dead because he looks dead; therefore he has that power.
At any rate, Womack was born to a poor family in Lexington, Kentucky in 1956. The only influences upon his writing to whom he will admit are Shirley Jackson and Charles Fort. He currently lives in New York City with his daughter and wife. One day, he hopes to quit smoking.
His book Elvissey, a part of the series that Random Acts of Senseless Violence begins, won the Philip K. Dick Award.

Jack Womack in his study
Jack Womack in his study

Jack Womack on Random Acts

(Ellis, 2008).

On why everyone is so slow in waking up to the increasingly dystopic nature of their society:
It takes an extremely long time for members of any given society to wake up and realize what lines have been crossed while they weren’t looking. A majority of members have to be directly, and unpleasantly, affected by ongoing or new events in order for any response to begin reaching critical mass. And, those prone to optimism are going to see everything as well as they possibly can, for as long as they can. Sometimes the optimism will be justified.
Most of the characters in the novel try to adapt to their society in flux to the same degree that we try to adapt to ours; and they, like we, find themselves more and more concussed rather than enlightened by the pace of change.
I never would have foreseen that NYC would have been so regooded so thoroughly, however.

On Lola Hart:
The essential figure of Lola Hart is patterned on how I imagined a friend of mine was when she was 12; after I did the first twenty pages or so I showed it to her and said does this sound OK so far, insofar as a 12-year old girl growing up in your neighborhood in NYC would sound? And she said yep. And from there she and the other characters took on their own lives.

On Random Act's language, writing, and voice:
The point of the language transformations in all of the books in this series was to give the reader a direct idea of the mental and emotional differences between these folks of a possible near-future and ourselves; the point being that as events transpired ever faster, so language and internal thought would transform as well — not within a matter of months or a few years in actuality, but over the course of time (this, like the title of the book, has been taken too literally by some readers and critics.)
Lola’s voice in Random reveals her own emotional and mental transformations as she adapts to her new circumstances and allows herself access to emotions she’s never tapped before. By the end of the book, the reader has not only seen one additional way in which Lola transforms (as well as the way through which the other transformations are made evident) but should be used to reading the adapted language well enough to proceed to the succeeding books with much less trouble in understanding them.
As to how I made it up, I can only say I played it by ear — if it sounded right in the head, that’s how it went down on the page.





Themes

Themes in Random Acts are not always the driving force for the story - characterization and language take that prize - but nevertheless, they play an important part in holding it together.

Friendship, Love, and Desire

Lola is your characteristic pubescent girl exploring the boundaries between friendship and sex. While, at twelve, she might be too young to be engaged in any serious activities by her class and societal standards, she comes to terms with her hatred for boys and children.
"I hate babies. They're messy and squirmy and smell bad. I never want to have one," Lola complains early on (8). This is the first sign that she might not be interested in subscribing to what her society labels a typical family unit, an idea propagated by the advent of the toy My Li'l Fetus, a disturbing fetus-doll that Boob is smitten with and which sells motherhood one step further . My Li'l Fetus is also symbolic of Boob's more mainstream outlook, an observation further emphasized by the fact that Aunt Chrissie, the most mainstream upper-class character in the book, had sent her the doll.

Lola's distaste for boys also separates her from most of her homophobic classmates, who "wrote DYKE on my locker with a pen I can't rub off and now every time I go to my locker I see it. They're all looking at me whenever I walk by and I know they're all laughing behind my back because they do it so often to my face" (112).
"Boys are really stupid and I don't know why anybody would want to be around them they're as bad as babies," confesses Lola to Anne, her diary, the reader. "Mama asked me last year if I minded going to a girls school and I said not at all, I wasn't interested in boys" (12).
Although "friends" such as Katherine partake on Lola's path of sexual discovery, it turns out that the inelastic upper-middle-class conventions are more compelling than camaraderie or loyalty.

When Lola moves, crumbling social constructs mirror the fall of her personal inhibitions. Out on the street, children are exposed to sex much earlier than in the posher areas, and "queer" activities are more frequently overlooked or accepted. She confesses to Iz "I don't think I'll ever like boys or want to be with them like this...I think I love love you Iz. You know what's meant? That means I'm different" (222).
While her inhibitions fall away and she feels comfortable enough to confess her love to her street friend, Lola can't get over that teenage angst of feeling that she is all alone and stranded where no one can feel her. "I wish I was doing what Jude was doing with Iz even though it's queer," she says. "That aches me too because they prefer boys I can tell even if they don't want them now and I don't like boys at all. There's nothing wrong with me there isn't but everyone thinks so when they know even if they don't know. Sometimes I fear I'll never happy proper" (204).

Family

The evolution of the importance of family in Random Acts parallels Lola's growth into her own self. Family starts out as one of her most talked about topics; Lola babbles on about Boob's antics and her parents' fudging of the truth about their economic situation. She discusses cheering her father up after another terrible day, talks about dinner scenes and birthday scenes and cozy (though anything cozy in this book, which is rare in the first place, is undermined by a persistent feeling of unease) family moments, and comforts her mother.

After they move, however, her father is rarely at home anymore, kept at work by the crazy Mister Mossbacher. Her mother becomes increasingly distant because Prozac keeps her away from the strange realities of a roaming Lola and depressed Boob. Lola refuses to discuss any of her street problems (Weez, for instance, who is trying to kill her) with Boob, who subsequently feels alienated, unwanted, and eventually targeted. She keeps both her parents in the dark about her suspect activities, and when her father dies, her mother goes into a medicated coma that pushes all responsibility onto Lola's shoulders. Lola, who once adored and protected her, says disturbingly towards the end of the book this about her mother: "Maybe she just needs dying I spec she does" (254).

In a way, while every teenager grows up and apart from their families, Lola's dramatic turnabout is sorrowful if it is noticed. She might commit a "senseless" crime for her father, but is it not also for herself?

Lola's nuclear family, despite her own distancing from it, is actually the most structured in the book. Jude is an orphan, and when questioned as to the location of her parents by Lola, she replies with a curt "somewhere fuck em'" (124). Iz is fatherless and her mother is always preaching the Islam Nation and being suspicious of her friends and activities. Katherine's father is sexually abusive and mother is a snob. Lori's parents sent her to the mentally and spiritually crippling Kure-A-Kid camp. Esther, a pregnant child, has to deal with her family trying to put her baby up for adoption and for condemning her eternally.

Income disparity, social class, and the Warning Building

A recurring issue in Random Acts, the Harts' move from "86th Street near Park Avenue" (7) in Upper East Side Manhattan to "an old red brick building at the corner of Tiemann Place and Broadway right below 125th Street" (62) makes it easy for Womack to draw comparisons and paint obvious differences between the two lifestyles of the rich and the poor. Obviously, Womack tries to make a point about race here; all private school families were white, while the slums are completely black or Hispanic. He takes everything unfortunately polarized in our world and makes it ten times worse, ten times more blatant. "[Womack] might have developed a juxtaposition showing that Lola's rich comfortable life was good and her new poverty was bad, but instead he makes it abundantly clear that the common cruelties and petty rivalries of her private school friends cause Lola more grief and heartache than the street violence of her new neighborhood" (Killheffer).

Lola, although greatly opposed to the change at first, shows in her quick adaption to the new environment that she had always been searching for a way out, never really finding her base at Brearley. Lola had once insisted that their new apartment would never feel like home, but a few months later she confesses that "our apartment now it's not as good as our old one but it's home just the same. It was weird though that you could adjust to something so quick...." (125). The Warning Building symbolizes Lola's transition. Extremely annoying and painful at first, issuing loud sirens of "Warning Warning Warning" in the early morning, she becomes used to it. What does it warn? No one knows, but methinks it is the disintegration of society and self.


Coping Methods and DCons

The background to Lola's coming-of-age is the downwards-spiraling of the world around her, this descent into "senselessness." When violence and craziness becomes rampant however, every class adapts its own coping mechanism. There are the Aunt Chrissies in the world, who hide out in sheltered regions, buy "semiautomatics because they think there'll be an uprising of the maids and gardeners" (35), and in the eyes of others, over-prepare for what is actually happening. Then there are the Faye and Michael Harts, Lola's parents, who pretend everything is going quite well, even when blatant acts of "going post office" are committed before their eyes. For instance, when the VanMan, a self-run U-Haul service, goes crazy and smashes up their possessions and almost kills them all (post office people are far more common in Random Acts than would be comfortable), "I asked Daddy if he was going to report him and he said he didn't think it would do any good" (73).

The upper-middle-class's reactions are often mirrored by the Harts'. This obliviousness may not be a bad thing; rather, it can be seen as a path of survival. "The most important factor in the verisimilitude of Random Acts is the way its characters respond to their environment, living their lives anyway as best they can. Some die, some run away, some drift into fantasy and denial, but all around we can see people living, as they always do even in the darkest times. They're still worrying about paying the bills, doing each other petty wrongs, having sleep-overs, going to church, falling in love" (Killheffer).

However, this fantasy-drifting is not doing anything for the future or preservation of society as we - or even they - know it. Lola notes that "the new President gave a speech and said he doesn't plan on doing anything differently than the President because absolutely nothing is wrong" (68). There is a lot pretending that "everything is just wonderful, I'm having the time of my life." This Lily Allen song, "Everything's Just Wonderful," which starts out thus, rather summarizes Lola's initial coping method, a noticing that everything is going wrong without being able to do anything about it.

Do you think, everything, everyone, is going mental,
It seems to me that it's spiraling out of control and it's inevitable,
Now don't you think this time is yours,
This time is mine, it's temperamental
It seems to me, we're on all fours,
Crawling on our knees
Someone help us please


Of course, when Lola adapts to the streets, her attitude towards this "senselessness" mellows, although there are strict, almost unspoken limits to how far your streetwise antics can go. It's acceptable for the Death Angels, a rather innocent gang headed by Jude, to conduct basic robbery, using a Robin Hood-esque justification. It's also all right to kill for revenge if it was something that was a personal insult, something that was done "direct." It is not acceptable, to sane street roamers, to revenge someone else, even a loved one, through murder. This "bad craziness" will turn your friends away from you and earn you a ticket into the DCons: "The DCons know where the lines be before people," explains Iz to still-innocent Lola. "The lines they never crossed before. They get you to cross your line. When you cross it, you with the DCons. You never come back" (187).
The DCons are the last degenerative step, symbolizing the last disappearance of any semblance of order or sanity. The world falls apart and society falls apart and Lola falls apart when she goes over to the dark side, ending the book with a bleak and subsequently emotionally painful farewell.
"Night night Anne. Night night. I'm with the DCons now" (256).





Critical and Popular Reception

While Womack's book Elvissey won the prestigious Philip K. Dick Award for science-fiction writing, Random Acts, actually one of its prequels (both are part of the Dryco series, which Random Acts begins. The series was not written in order, and Random Acts was written later in 1993), was published and then flew under the radar.(1)

Jo Walton, of the sci-fi site Tor.com, bewailed this state of anonymity. "I... can't think of many books that have a protagonist change so much and so smoothly and believably. What makes it such a marvelous book is the way Lola and her world and the prose all descend together, and even though it's bleak and downbeat it's never depressing," she praises, commending the book's use of language to emphasize Lola's transformation. "So why haven't you read it?" (Walton).

Walton gives four reasons as to why what she believes as the genius that is Random Acts went unnoticed and "sorely neglected" (Doctorow). First, she claims that the cover is extraordinarily rather unappealing and messy. Secondly, the title is off-putting to the targeted audience. Thirdly, she feels the book slid by without due attention and was slighted of several awards that inferior books received. All these reasons, however, she feels is inconsequential compared to the fact that it failed to fit into that expected, sellable, catagorizable slot of its time."...it was a novel that didn't meet the zeitgeist," wrote Walton."...in the late eighties and early nineties...cyberpunk [defined by (spacebeer) as "science fiction dealing with future urban societies dominated by computer technology"] was what [people] were expecting, with the New Space Opera just starting to come along to replace it....[the] affect is very cool, very noir....What Womack was doing was hot and realistic and emotional....it didn't quite fit, so people didn't know how to take it - and.very few of them did take it." (Walton).

Walton has her associates in popular admiration for the novel. Rick Kleffel deems Random Acts a "page-turning...propulsive reading experience."

Not everyone, however, agrees. Critics tend to add one more complaint to the list of four Walton drew up: unoriginality of plot. Indeed, characterization and propulsiveness tend to be strong, they claim, but "...here is something patently unchallenging about all of this. To build a bleak world, he relies too heavily on pushing the usual buttons - wild roving gangs! ineffectual government!" (Steinberg).

There are oftentimes parallels drawn between the Nadsat masterfully employed by Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange (published much earlier in 1962) and Womack's streettalk. Some deem it as a comparable and equal linguistic achievement, further stressing the quality of the novel. Once again, however, there is opposition to this argument: "The problem is that there just isn't enough there... the new dialect quickly moves from being intriguing to being boring and more an exercise in linguistics than an encompassing new language -- something that really works in A Clockwork Orange but not here. The diary form works better at the start of the book, but soon the diary entries are full of transcribed dialogue and read more like traditional book chapters than twelve-year-old musings, which makes the tone of the book rather uneven" ("Random Reads").

Despite its obscurity, partially due to the criticisms it garnered, and partially due to the reasons Walton outlined in her defense of the novel, Random Acts has had an impact on popular culture. Anthrax, a loud heavy-metal band, put out an song that headed its seventh album, Stomp 442. While the song does not appeal to all, one may certainly discern how the loud nature of the piece is symbolic of the loud, crazed situations that are becoming increasingly common as Random Acts progresses:







Additional Analysis


Is being completed.

The debate amongst the critics is inconclusive; is Random Acts worth reading? And if so, what makes it worth reading? Certainly, as a genre piece, how does it fit into the dystopian category?

Throughout the novel, protagonist Lola Hart struggles with trust issues. "The President blinks his eyes like Mama and Daddy do when they say everything's fine so I bet he's fudging too" (18).

-growing up v. falling down
Lola's other best friend is Lori, whom she is slightly closer to. Lori, unlike Katherine, is loud and rebellious. This, interestingly, leaves our main character Lola as the monkey in the middle (as in Herland, Handmaid's Tale, or even Player Piano to some degree). Being both vaguely bellicose and a partial conformist, her actions are framed on both sides by the extremes of Lori and Katherine. Lola is like Vans, being surrounded by Terry and Jeff, or Offred (Moira and True Believers), or Paul Proteus (Finnerty and Shepherd). In any case, it seems as if authors surround their characters with people from both extremes to add complexity to the protagonists.
Meanwhile, Lori's "unrespectable" behavior causes her to be sent to Kure-A-Kid camp, a grotesque concentration or reform camp or sorts, through which is brainwashed and robbed of most sentient and intelligent ability.

-everything is a background to Lola's evolution

-what makes this book "good"? is it "good"? literary value?
"What makes it such a marvelous book is the way Lola and her world and the prose all descend together, and even though it's bleak and downbeat it's never depressing" (Doctorow). (really not depressing? *I* feel depressed...)
"More than most forms, the child's voice demands a strong and consistent level of prose writing" (Kleffel).
"Random Acts of Senseless Violence is clearly meant to serve as a parable and warning - about politics, about race - but it rarely goes beyond the obvious. It is a compelling and powerful read, but somehow unredeeming" (Steinberg).

-is it a dystopia?

-speculative fiction? how does it warn us, if at all? does it provide answers? does it give any hope?
"This is a world on the slippery slope to oblivion, where government is helpless to enforce the law (the President is assassinated almost routinely), violence for fun and profit rules the streets, armed uprisings spread through the cities and no hope of renewal shows its face" (Killheffer).
"No matter how far down the timeline it's set, [science-fiction] usually ends up being about the present, offering more insight into our current circumstances than sound predictions of tomorrow" (Killheffer).
"Though Womack eschews any overarching message of redemption, a thread of hope runs through Random Acts, an insistence that some decent people find ways to survive extreme hardships without giving themselves over entirely to violence and despair" (Killheffer). --> Mention how "that there can be important distinctions even in awful circumstances, and we imagine that people like Iz would be there to make the world over again if things were ever to turn around." ---> relate to coping mechanism theme

-what are some things reflected from our society or history?
Then the Army humvees drove up and soldiers got out holding rifles. The men had baseball bats and sticks and started throwing rocks and bottles at the soldiers....the soldiers were shooting at the crowd and the crowd broke up but then people started firing at the soldiers with their guns from windows over the bodega. (152-3). Domestic occupation.
3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/
http://www.prisonplanet.com/northcom-denies-troops-to-be-used-for-crowd-control.html
http://www.realitysandwich.com/domestic_occupation
"The federal government's ability to exercise military force within the United States has been largely prohibited by both the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and the Insurrection Act of 1807, the latter having since been amended to authorize the depletion of troops during a "natural disaster, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition." Additionally, the Defense Authorization Act of 2006 has amended the President's ability to declare martial law, allowing him or her to take control of the National Guard without any state authorization."

-pedantic novel or pure entertainment?

-how does language add/subtract to the lesson?
"Lola's language suggests lots of details to the reader that Lola herself does not comprehend" (Kleffel).
"...it's in the evolving vocabulary and structure of Lola's diary that we see her changing most clearly" (Killheffer).
"But Womack avoids the allegorical preachiness of other near-future novels of undisguised social criticism (The Handmaid's Tale et al.); he rejects simplistic philosophizing, and thereby scores a surer hit on the reader's sensibilities" (Killheffer).

-why the title?

-reliable narrator?

-more or less convincing as a portrayal of a world falling apart?
"Neither Lola nor her parents nor anyone she knows has any impact on events at the larger level, and precious little power over small-scale matters either" (Killheffer).

-"It’s gorgeous and heartbreaking and as powerful in its way as Lord Of The Flies or even A Clockwork Orange" (Ellis). Why and how? Why does it move the reader emotionally?






References


  1. Bradfield, Scott. “Operation Domestic Storm.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. The New York Times Book Review 30 Oct. 1994. Literature Resource Center. Gale. 6 Mar. 2009 <http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/?db=LitRC>.
  2. Ellis, Joshua. “Playing It by Ear: A Short Interview with Jack Womack.” Zenarchery. 19 Aug. 2008. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.zenarchery.com/2008/08/19/playing-it-by-ear-a-short-interview-with-jack-womack/>.
  3. Doctorow, Cory. “Jack Womack’s Underappreciated Masterpiece.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack Boing Boing. 25 July 2008. Happy Mutants LLC. 20 Mar. 2009 <http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/25/jack-womacks-underap.html>.
  4. Killheffer, Robert K.J. “Random Acts of Senseless Violence.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Feb. 1995: 19. Literature Resource Center. Gale. 27 Feb. 2009 <http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/?db=LitRC>.
  5. Kleffel, Rick. “Random Acts of Senseless Violence.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. The Agony Column. 9 June 2003 <http://trashotron.com/agony/reviews/2003/womack-random_acts.htm>.
  6. Michaud, Charles. “Random Acts of Senseless Violence.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. Library Journal July 1994: 130.
  7. Moody, Nickianne. “Social and temporal geographies of the near future: Music, fiction and youth culture.” Futures 1998: 1003-1016.
  8. Random Reads.” Weblog post. Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. Spacebeer. 12 Mar. 2006. 20 Mar. 2009 <http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2006/03/random-reads.html>.
  9. Steinberg, Steve G. “Random Acts of Senseless Violence.” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. Wired. Jan. 1995. 20 Mar. 2009 <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.01/streetcred.html?pg=9>.
  10. Vint, Sherryl. Bodies of Tomorrow: Technology, Subjectivity, Science Fiction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.
  11. Walton, Jo. “Random Acts of Senseless Violence: Why Isn’t It a Classic of the Field?” Rev. of Random Acts of Senseless Violence, by Jack Womack. Tor. 25 July 2008. Macmillan. 6 Mar. 2009 <http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=1929>.

**Note: cited page numbers with no author refer to the book itself. All language is sic.