Mar 3, 2008

America 2014 by Jonathan Greenberg writing as Dawn Blair

America 2014

Oh good Lord, that was terrible. I mean, truly truly bad. Oh sure, a few details gave me a chuckle (I especially liked renaming the US "God's United States"), but overall this wasn't worth the effort Greenberg put into writing it. And it sure as hell wasn't worth reading.

I mean, come on. Either go ahead and use the names of current politicians or don't, but things like George Blush, Dick Croney, and John Flashcroft only serve to kick us out of the already-thin plot. And what a plot it is, as tortured as the unfortunate characters themselves. As I mentioned in a previous post, the villeins are such broad puppets they might just as well have said "boogity boogity!", stuck their fingers in their ears, and waggled them at the hapless prisoners who are hauled off for "ultimate rehabilitation" or whatever silly euphemism Greenburg chose for his death camps.

The female characters only exist to rescue the "hero" or pop in and out of bed with him. The underground is entirely made up of thinly drawn cyberpunk hackers and neo-hippies, and every single one of them smokes weed like it's their jobs. The employees of the government are all rabid, grinning psychos who only come onto the page to torture, rape, and taunt the "good guys".

final thoughts:I understand that the author gave away free copies of America 2014 on college campuses when it came out in 2004 as a way to bring attention to the evils done by Bush's administration. I'm as left wing as they come, and I still think those college kids who actually read a free copy failed to get their money's worth.

11 comments:

white rabbit said...

I haven't read this but I'll take your word for it as regards this book's dreadfulness. An interesting question is, given how hard it is to get published, why is it that publishers' quality control regularly malfunctions and waves through utter dross?

downtown guy said...

Well, it looks like Council Oaks Books, the publisher of this particularly terrible novel, is sort of a small time deal. I quote:

"Established as an alternative to the east-coast-dominated publishing industry, Council Oak has been presenting books for the emerging wisdom culture since 1985. Subject areas for which we are best known include Native American and indigenous spirituality; nature, animals, and wildlife; inclusive Christianity; new thought and alternative health."

So, honestly, it's almost a self-published book.

A V I C E N N A said...

You've made me feel like reading it. Thanks.

downtown guy said...

I'd enjoy seeing your take on it. If you lived closer, I would loan you my copy.

A V I C E N N A said...

Thank you, anyway.
I'll buy it.
I think money spent on books, music and movies is never wasted.

downtown guy said...

It's true. That's what I spend my money on, certainly.

A V I C E N N A said...

Thanks, but I'd buy it anyway.
My house is stuffed with books, cds and dvds.
Thousands of them...

Ookami Snow said...

What is the point of a pen name if we know who actually did it?

downtown guy said...

In this case, I suspect it was a stylistic choice - George Orwell's real last name was Blair.

white rabbit said...

Jonathan Greenberg writing as Dawn Blair...

The more I think about this the weirder it is. I gotta agree with Ookami Snow too. What's the point?

Alternative theory: The Blair bit could refer to Tony as opposed to Eric. But why Dawn?

I give up..

downtown guy said...

No, I think it's just a cheesy reference to Orwell, plus the idea of a "new dawn" of American fascism. Having read the book, I can tell you that subtlety is not a big factor here.