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Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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I could summarize my review in three words: Read. This. Book.
Or if I expanded it just a little — Read this book, today.
I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a very long time. John Bascom joins a very elite group of political satirists who can command an audience with exactly the right turns of phrase. The running malapropisms gag alone will keep you stitched up. I laughed and guffawed and hit an OMFG moment on practically every page.
Caine's Pestilence is a masterstroke of satirical genius. Nancy Pelosi as president? The underlying scenario is frighteningly authentic. A nation of sheep led by the nose to expect their government to satisfy their every whim? Don't we already have that? Bascom posits a reaction to an accidental event which threatens to overturn the welfare state apple cart that reads like it was reported by The New York Times.
And what a welfare state it is! The country has ratified a Fundamental Human Needs Amendment codifying every liberal shibbeloth as the supreme law of the land. All women are entitled to free cosmetic surgery! Collectivization is the order of the day as wealth is confiscated to fund mountains of social programs. All broadcast news is produced by the FCC — the Fair Communications Commission — under the control of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Fox News is illegal. George W. Bush is serving a life sentence for war crimes.
Yeah, Bascom's depiction of our dystopian progressive future is quite believable. I couldn't put it down.
John Caine is a mild-mannered banker thrust into a maelstrom of Washington, DC political intrigue. As his wife is seduced by the siren song of a "self help" guru whose real agenda is to subjugate her will to that of the nanny state John immerses himself in work. And starts tinkering in a makeshift basement laboratory using surplus bio-engineering equipment he surrepticiously borrows from his new job.
Events have a way of escalating in unforeseen directions and Caine's experiments soon lead to a confrontation with the full power of an omnipresent bureaucracy. He's convicted of Domestic Terrorism and sentenced to death by hanging.
Caine's Pestilence is his memoirs, written inside his cell on death row, completed only hours before his appointment with the gallows. Is John Caine a hero? Not exactly. Nor is he a villian. He's just an ordinary man, swept up in a vortex of extraordinary events.
I won't give away the ending, but I will say it was satisfying, in a way that many thrillers are not. It was believable and not contrived to tie up the loose ends in a nice neat bow. With his debut novel John Bascom hits a home run.
And in case I didn't mention it yet, read this book!
John Bascom submitted a
guest post to the blog while I was on vacation. I asked if I could review
his novel and he graciously sent me a signed copy. Yeah, it's a keeper.
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