Arcata, CA—What would happen if everyone on Earth had everything they wanted? How does our materialistic and consumer-driven society shape our humanity? If this present civilization of seemingly endless economic growth ended, what would humanity become? Debut author Phil Granchi utilizes satire to explore these questions and more in Mart of Darkness, a comic dystopian thriller that invites readers to both laugh and reflect on the state of the world.
Mart of Darkness explores these questions through the eyes of its protagonist, Ted K, a slacker, wanna-be screenwriter who survives on temp jobs. With no real marketable skills and not much writing talent, he finds himself accidentally assigned to a government Special Forces unit. Their mission is to neutralize Kurtis McAlsteinetti, the CEO of AllMart, who has lost touch with reality and is plotting to take down the world's economy—and Ted is in way over his head. Alternately bewildered and terrified, Ted gives the reader a first person point of view as the team journeys, both literally and allegorically, through the vast expanse of the sprawling AllMart flagship store.
Together they cross hundreds of square miles, face off zombie shoppers, Purple Poncho People, "Converts," and brave their way through special promotions like McAlsteinetti's famed "Black Light Blowout" Peril lurks in the aisles as they cross an inland sea of close-out DVDs, aptly named the Videocean, and snake through the wild canyon of 55-gallon drums of pickles known as Gherkin Gorge. As a comic retelling of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, with proper homage to Apocalypse Now, the team is progressively downsized through a series of tragic and comedic mishaps. With the team growing smaller and uncountable obstacles in their path, can they make it to the Mezzanine and their meeting with AllMart Senior Management? Will they be able to complete their mission? And what role does K, with his "special skills" (or lack thereof), have to play in what awaits them?
Granchi draws from his career background, including roles such as project geologist, production artist, web producer, and improvisational comedian, combining these experiences to bring the reader Mart of Darkness. During a stint as a graphic artist for marketing agencies, Granchi noticed that the same almost mystical language and ideas used to promote credit and convince consumers to "increase your buying power" actually permeates our society in many different forms. Trained as a scientist, he says, "I naturally started wondering what would happen if you extrapolated that thinking into the absurd future where people might literally structure their own lives around buying stuff, to the point where they actually lived inside a huge store in a symbiotic relationship with the store itself. Mart of Darkness was born.
"Mostly, I want people to laugh at the book," says Granchi. "I don't want to point fingers at anyone. We're all participating in what's happening in the world right now. The world and economy as we're experiencing it won't last forever. It will change, we just don't know when and what that change will look like. Along with that, we're all on this planet together and we might as well get along and have some laughs along the way. No matter what, we need each other"
Mart of Darkness and Granchi's comedic genius deliver perfectly timed humor to counter the darkness of the last year. Whether you're an adventure buff, sci-fi lover, enjoy satire, or are just in need of a book that will keep you laughing, Mart of Darkness hits the spot. Grab your copy today!
Mart of Darkness, is available the author's website www.allmartstores.com and on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.
About Phil Granchi: Phil Granchi has spent most of his life avoiding novel writing. His many distractions have included collecting fossils in Antarctica, performing a completely improvised university lecture at comedy festivals around the world, working as a freelance graphic artist in direct marketing agencies and producing online educational games for a now-defunct dotcom startup.
Phil is currently a practicing radiologist and is the president of Mother Lode Diagnostic Imaging, a small private practice radiology group where he fills roles ranging from IT to HR. He earned BS and MS degrees in Geology from Purdue University. He later returned to school, achieving an MD from West Virginia University School of Medicine. Living in rural northern California, he enjoys spending time in the wilderness with his wife and favorite travel companion, Melissa Granchi.
You can find out more about Phil Granchi at PhilGranchi.com. Order the book at: https://www.allmartstores.com