Resurrection Days by Wilson Tucker (1981)


Owen Hall, a hard-drinking, wise-cracking, womanizing carpenter from 1943 Indiana awakes to find himself in a strange world. He has a fuzzy memory of being killed by a train, but the world he is in is nothing like the afterlife he was promised in church. Instead of pearly gates and the garden of Eden, Owen finds himself in a world controlled by women, where all the other men are zombie-like mutes who ride conveyor belts to their daily jobs, which they perform without thought or feeling. Naturally, taking orders from a broad isn't exactly what a hard-drinking, wise-cracking, womanizing carpenter from 1943 Indiana wants to do, so he immediately gets to work wreaking havoc on the system: he uses the machines to make himself some booze, and then he tries his hardest to get laid while staying away from the long, pink arm of the law.

Being a guy from Indiana who enjoys the occasional drink and thinks it's funny to say "broads," Owen Hall really appeals to me. He's like the alcoholic, misogynistic uncle I never had. The key difference, though, between Owen and somebody I actually would have been related to, is that he's the likable alcoholic, misogynistic uncle I never had. Though he is always on the prowl for girls to bang, he is not without empathy towards them, and his remarks about women are always pieces of jokes, never scathing indictments of a gender.

Owen's attitudes are all part of his shtick. It's a shtick that could be entertaining in a lot of settings, but works most excellently against the backdrop of a world where women are shocked to hear a man even talk, let alone talk back. It's easy to enjoy Owen's antics and the chaos he causes as he shakes everything up, like watching somebody loosing a swarm of bees into a stuffy board room. Owen introduces sex and booze to a world that has never known the pleasure of either, and seems to delight in throwing a wrench into the works. Indeed, at one point he is supposed to be making meals in a factory, but uses the machinery to make a monkey wrench instead, and then presses the button to send it through the tubes with the rest of the food.

This ain't hard science fiction. Far from it. It is, however, a few hours of light entertainment that you don't have to try very hard at all to wrap your mind around. You could probably read it drunk, as Owen would. It's cheap, too. I found mine on the 50-cent rack on the sidewalk in front of a local bookstore.

Buy this book.

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