Thursday, December 15, 2011

Everything Is Broken-John Shirley

Everything Is Broken

John Shirley

Prime, Jan 17 2012, $14.95

ISBN 9781607012924

Freedom, California libertarian Mayor Lon Ferrara, owner of a bar and barbeque, privatizes all local government services including first responder emergencies. He also rejected any help from the county, state or feds as he believes in government being the size of a bathtub.

Twenty years old Russ Haver comes to the pristine coastal town to visit his dad Drew. In Freedom Russ meets Pendra, a young woman who fascinates him. A tsunami hammers the West Coast turning Freedom into a wasteland. After being trapped on a rooftop that he defends with his brother from others joining them, the mayor remains adamant no FEMA in spite of the townsfolk in dire straits as services collapse and shelter is limited; instead he makes a deal with a gang leader. Making matters worse is the violence by some of the survivors like predatory drug dealing gangbanger Dickie Rockwell, who sees the chaos and lack of leadership as an opportunity to impose his brutal vision of civilization on others.

Although improbable, this powerful environmental thriller extrapolates the dual premises of those who want to eliminate government providing services as a corollary to paying no taxes into what happens when disaster strikes leading to Everything Is Broken inside of Freedom. Action-packed form the moment the immense tidal wave attacks the town and never slows down as the only “proactive” response comes from the gang leader, fans will enjoy this strong condemnation of political leaders vowing pledges rather than performing governance.

Harriet Klausner

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