Let’s begin with the first sentence of this novel.
“Two dozen bodies lay in duct tape patched nylon sleeping bags atop cardboard folded for padding against the pebbled, cigarette and bottle-cap littered earth.”
Home sweet home. Imagine every liberal’s fears come true. In this dystopian novel, all aspects of life are privatized, including the “police force.” Citizens are crippled by their credit scores, unemployable and hounded by the credit police and the looming debtor’s prisons.
If your credit score is below 650, you cannot travel across a state line, or receive medical attention (if its emergent, they just watch you die). Minimum wage is outlawed, so finding a job that provides a living wage is impossible. Renewable energy is strictly banned so as not to cut into the oil companies profit lines. Everyone is frightened and displaced. Political dissent has been squashed. The line between the “haves” and the “have nots” has been clearly and forcefully drawn.
Even the whales are pissed. On both coasts, they begin to beach themselves, committing suicide in great numbers. In the midst of this tragedy, a corporation fences off the dying whale beaches and charges patrons to look, smell and feel their putrid flesh. But let’s one-up that. A reality crew films the suffocating whales and achieves the highest viewership ever.
But, ta-da! Here comes Sargam, flying in on her motorcycle, clad in a white, fringed, leather jacket. She reforms an abandoned subdivision and builds a community, a school, and an urban garden. She names it Ryansville (after Paul Ryan, douchebag extraordinaire)? It becomes a village, a community where citizens rely on each other to survive, to find peace.
“God bless you” one of the characters says to Sargam. She replies “Not God. It’s just people. People helping people. That’s all we got.” And that formula worked for awhile. But of course, word gets out, and the powers that be are not pleased with this community.
Minerals are found on the land and it is slated for land mining. Pastor Roger, celebrity preacher and idiot extraordinaire, teams up with an investment banker in their pursuit of sweet, sweet moola. They end up in Ryansville for personal and financial gain. The mining corporation brings in a monster of a machine, the Joshua Extractor, and sets the date for the destruction. Mayhem ensues.
Is Ryansville saved, and by whom? Think of David and Goliath and slingshots. Intrigued? That’s all I’m going to give you, fellow bibliophiles. No matter your politics, books and discussion are essential for a civilized society. Books are what we have in common, books are freedom. I would encourage any peaceful discussion about the politics this novel highlights.
Please read, beautiful people.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Karl Taro Greenfield
Copyright 2015, Harper
March 21st 2018
February 7th 2018
January 17th 2018
November 29th 2017
November 24th 2017
FARGO - The March For Our Lives event that began in Washington D.C. on Saturday by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors, spread across the nation sparking more than 800 “sibling” marches, including a rally…
Although the temperatures were sub zero last Sunday, the crowd and competitors were certainly on fire at the Holiday Inn in Fargo for the 5th Annual Bartenders Battle.This event has become a highlight of the year for the service…
by John Showalter
In Fargo, we are certainly used to long, cold winters, but that doesn’t make us any less anxious for them to end with each coming spring. The arrival of warmer weather means longer days and finally being able to see green again…
by Greg Carlson
A captivating lead performance by Lene Cecilia Sparrok anchors the stout and handsome “Sami Blood,” winner of the award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2018 Fargo Film Festival.Set principally in the 1930s, director Amanda…
by John Showalter
In my tenure at the High Plains Reader, I have devoted a lot of column inches to promoting the local music scene of the Red River Valley. However, I would be doing an injustice if I didn’t also bring your attention to another…
by Charlie Barber
“The thing to fear from the Trump presidency is not the bold overthrow of the Constitution, but the stealthy paralysis of governance; not the open defiance of law, but an accumulating subversion of norms; not the deployment of…