The Immune System: A Dewey Decimal novel

The Immune System: A Dewey Decimal novel

by Nathan Larson


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"This final installment of the Dewey Decimal trilogy capably stands alone as a quirky, sparkly read that will embiggen your cerebellum."
Library Journal

"Larson treats the English language as a sort of toy to play with and use for experimentation; language is not just used to tell the story, in other words, but is a part of the story, an extension of its narrator, Dewey Decimal, one of the more offbeat characters in fiction. A fitting conclusion to a unique and memorable trilogy."

"A sharp and satisfying conclusion to one of the most unique hard-boiled arcs in recent memory."
Kirkus Reviews

"Dewey is an unlikely hero, a gimpy, smart-mouthed loner, obsessed with a brand-name hand sanitizer. His indomitable spirit and his distinctive ghetto-infused, educated patter give Larson's series its unique and spicy character."
Publishers Weekly

"The final book in Larson's compulsively readable, uniquely strange Dewey Decimal trilogy, The Immune System features Larson's patented ability to play with words and sentence structure in a way that mirrors the disorienting events happening in the plot. And yet, because the reader is in such good hands with Larson, it doesn't matter if everything is clear right from the start. Just trust that Larson knows where he's taking you, and enjoy the slightly surreal, definitely funny ride."
The L Magazine

"The final book in the Dewey Decimal System trilogy, in which Dewey deals with dirty politicians, civilian outcasts, Saudi, royals, and the truth about the cataclysmic events in NYC. I adored these books, and it thrills me to know the author is also a member of Shudder to Think."
Book Riot

"The final installment of one of the finest (and weirdest) thriller trilogies ever....There is physical action aplenty in this breathtaking novel—fistfights, shoot-outs, bombs, etc.—but during the finale of Larson's glorious trilogy, we learn that in the end, the only struggle that ever mattered was Decimal's struggle with himself."
Mystery Scene

"[An] engrossing concluding entry in Larson's Dewey Decimal trilogy....Larson's version of New York City is vividly...realized, almost becoming a character in itself, and his fast-paced narrative style makes the most of both his post-apocalyptic setting and his brain-scrambled protagonist."
Manhattan Book Review

"A perfect synthesis of poetic observation melded with streetwise patois, percussive and rhythmic....It’s quite a feat to write a dystopia that is fun and takes the reader to a better place for a while. Larson does this."

The Immune System is the explosive final installment in the Dewey Decimal trilogy. Picking up months after the events of The Nervous System , Dewey finds himself running dirty operations for the crooked Senator Howard. When Dewey is tasked with disrupting unrest from a growing group of outcast civilians, and simultaneously given the assignment of protecting a pair of Saudi royals, he is forced to look within and make some impossible choices. Ultimately, this puts him at odds with his benefactor and the powers that be.

In the course of the novel, we learn the true nature of the 2/14 cataclysm that decimated New York City, and by the end of it, Dewey must choose whether or not to face his own past. He must also decide if he is to be part of the elite control system, or if he's willing to commit himself to the unknown, without the protections he enjoys in the good favor of the landlords of the new New Order.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617753398
Publisher: Akashic Books
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Series: Akashic Urban Surreal Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nathan Larson is an award-winning film music composer, having created the scores for over thirty movies, including Boys Don't Cry , Dirty Pretty Things , and Margin Call. The Dewey Decimal System and The Nervous System are the highly acclaimed first two installments in his Dewey Decimal crime-fiction trilogy, and are followed by The Immune System. Larson lives in Harlem, New York City, with his wife and son.

Read an Excerpt

The Immune System

A Novel

By Nathan Larson

Akashic Books

Copyright © 2015 Nathan Larson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61775-339-8


Got my right foot dug into the soldier's thick neck when I finally figure out what's chafing me. Bells. That's what's wrong with this sonic picture.

Buried in the dense industrial drone of the Freedom Tower 3.0 re-rebuild, metallic and huge, cranes and bulldozer treads, the flocks of choppers, the loudspeakers wailing Mandarin like a call to prayer ... Within this cacophony I dig the bells, church bells, consonant clusters, occupying three distinct slots in the stereo field.

Somebody tolling them bells over at St. Paul's. Maybe St. Peter's. South too, probably at Trinity.

Soldier gargling, yank my full attention back to the throat I'm stepping on, the SEMPER FI tattoo and logo, attached to a compact middle-aged white man, here in this rinky-dink trailer/office on-site. Man gags and gulps.

That I can be distracted from this, the righteous killing of the cocksucker who snuffed my main man Dos Mac, this laboriously executed execution ... that a bell can catch my attention is revealing. In that this here event is such a forgone thing, cause I killed this fuck countless times in my head over the last year.

Doing whitey now in a Chinese trailer. When a brother like me told the foreman to scram, best believe he scrum. Now witness Chinaman's hastily abandoned breakfast, some manner of alien donut, herky-jerky bits of office debris, a greasy calendar, Chinese characters reading MISS G-9 BEIJING, a faded nymphet showing us a naked shoulder, winking at the viewer from a lost era, wrapped in that ubiquitous red flag.

To say that such disorder disgusts me would be a gross understatement. Does, however, make me wanna speed this nasty business up. "Getting prepped to merge with the infinite, sarge? Just so you dig, this is really happening and it's happening right now." Say it through the surgical mask, only slightly winded from our brief scuffle. Doubt if I'll need chrome today but I hold my HK45 loose and easy in my reconstructed hand.

Prosthetic metacarpal. As bits of me break off, the government is there with a spare. The perks of the insider. In this case, I had high-fived a moving helicopter. Sure, I got stories.

Gloves on, natch.

White man grimaces, a tooth hanging from his lower lip by a thread of blood.

Balancing my full weight on the man's throat, whip my other brogue clean and hard into dude's kidney. Man expelling air like a burst basketball.

"Find it curious you've yet to ask me why this is going down. Reckon you already know then."

Salt-and-pepper hair shorn military close, character for the Chinese "Infinity" etched into the side of his head per Cyna-corp chic. That older tattoo on the forearm, with that eagle, globe, and anchor ... not unlike my own tattoo, though blurred with age.

Vein in the man's forehead raised, engorged. Gargling suggests he might perhaps speak, I ease up the pressure on Sergeant Ferguson's airway.

Me saying: "Jimmy."

This not eliciting a response, I give him another foot to the gut. James heaves an empty, dry retch.

"Take it down memory lane, be sure you're crystal." Me saying: "Know me, bitch?"

Jimbo nuzzling his cheek against the rotten shitty wood of the trailer floor, nodding, nodding.

"So maybe you're doing that math. To assist. Hearken back, November last. Unarmed black man in Chinatown. Lots of computers, books. Took him out cold blood. You following, shitbird?"

His one visible eye swivels my way, attempting a connection I evade.

"That man was my brother. His name was Dos Mac."

Jim wagging his skull, yes massa, and I peep a sliver of something like hope in those Aryan scopes ... yes sir. Perhaps he can logic his way out to fight another day.

Plenty nuff talking for me.

Step hard, breaking the cartilage of his trachea.

* * *

Grind northbound, shaking it off, already got my Purell™ out on automatic, eyes strafing the black glass of the Millennium Hotel, WTC 1 V3.0 to my back vibing wrong, vibing too tall, past a low wall of sandbags, armored cars, white shuttle buses sporting Skanska logos, dodging a manhole erupting terra-cotta steam, surrounded by a dozen drones in lemon hazmat gear ...

Well, I ask you now, you think I cherish these sorry situations? This lopsided sadism? Think I get jiggy on the misfortune of my fellow travelers? Not so, y'all, not so.

Dip my hat at the Chinese boys flanking the gate, one of whom commences whistling a Christmas tune. See no evil, gents. I'll settle up with their boss later on, for the short-term rental. And associated cleanup costs.

But listen. Listen, friends. Fundamentally I am a man of peace, a retiring, scholarly gentleman. It's just that this brother also happens to be extensively and expensively schooled in kicking down doors and inflicting pain. So one does what one can, given one's CV. Especially round about these fucking times, where it's do or drown.

No shame in my game.

Full disclosure, to the degree possible with what I got in my skull: I used to be one of these private army heavies. Cyna-corp, though it went by a different name, was my team.

And I bailed. Broke rank. So you can imagine ... makes it complicated cause said crew essentially runs the island.

Yeah, apparently I used to wear those colors. This period of my life is poorly lit, a casualty of the tinkering that went on in my skull at the hands of the doctors at the National Institutes of Health. Allegedly. So as far as Cyna-corp is concerned, I am still AWOL.

Worse still: I allowed the Cyna-corp founder and guiding spirit to be slaughtered right in front of me. Knifed to death by US Senator Clarence Howard, no less. Sad story, y'all. Another time.

Dig, pausing now at the corner of godforsaken Barclay and Church to pull down the mask and flame up a Chinese Lucky Strike. Helps with the Stench.

Swap out used plastic gloves for fresh, squinting skyward at the helicopters, always with the helicopters, as I apply the necessary Purell™ ... suggestion of a light source through the heavy orange cloud cover would indicate approximately five in the p.m.

Trying to peep my driver. Need to get to Midtown. The senator has taken to leaving the office earlier and earlier.

This Ferguson thing, these were precious moments expended on personal business. More risk than I would generally allow for. But some matters cannot be left unattended. Jungle justice.

Suck three fast lungfuls, plop a blue pill on my tongue, and replace my mask; with the rapid deterioration of the air quality, that's about all my body can take. And with this I am one fine evening closer to death.

I call myself Dewey Decimal.


Excerpted from The Immune System by Nathan Larson. Copyright © 2015 Nathan Larson. Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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