Sunday, July 23, 2017

I've Finished American War

That's why blogging's been light today.

I watched some baseball and finished reading this book.

At Amazon, Omar El Akkad, American War: A Novel.

I'd definitely recommend the book. It's a fairly quick read, for one thing. But mostly I find the premise of the novel --- a new civil war in this country --- extremely fascinating. Akkad's a good writer, and while some of the personal story-lines were too long and detailed for me, they do tend to link back nicely together in subsequent episodes. There's no loose ends. Some initial details are left out, though, or I skimmed over them in my reading. For example, the Southwest United States is now a Mexican protectorate --- basically, exactly what the radical leftists Reconquista types are always agitating about. But there's no discussion of a war with Mexico, where the U.S. gives back the land. Also, the leftist ontology of the entire book will turn off some conservatives. The new "American war" --- which takes place in 2075 --- is the result of the North being taking over by radical environmentalists who ban fossil fuels. Climate change has left parts of the country underwater by this time, like all of Florida. Even the most hardcore leftist climate alarmists don't make such preposterous arguments, however. We're talking hundreds of years from now before the very worst effects of the doomsday climate scenarios would come into effect. Florida's not going to be washed into the sea 55 years from now.

Still, readers will identify with the rebels in the South, especially the main character Sarat, who becomes an assassin after both her parents are killed. Akkad's to be praised for his realism throughout. And while the book makes the Southern rebels extremely sympathetic, in reviews I've read critics have identified with the North, even going so far as demonizing Sarat's character. That's not how I read it all. I read this as if it could be me. I could be fighting against the North as if I was fighting against all that's evil in the world. And since I see this country currently breaking up --- we're in a cold civil war now --- it's easy to become invested in the outcome in the book.

But that's all I'll say, since I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

Check out the book, at Amazon.

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