America City by Chris Beckett
This novel was published in 2017 and, given the contents, Rebel Voice is curious as to whether or not Trump’s election campaign played a part in its construct.
Set one hundred years in the future, global warming has caused major upheaval across the planet. In the US, severe drought in the south-west has forced the mass migration of millions, while along the east coast, increasingly violent storms have pushed similar numbers towards the same destination of the north-west where they are not welcomed by a pressurized population.
Into this climate of hostility steps right-wing senator, Steve Slaymaker, a visionary who wishes to ‘reconfigure’ the USA. The patriotic senator is determined to avoid the impending implosion of his nation, as those who search for a place to live safely come into conflict with those already there and who do not want them. There are strong echoes of the current immigration policies of Trumps’ administration. There is also, in America City, a border wall with Mexico, although no mention is made of who had to pay for it.
It is with his future presidential bid in mind that Slaymaker employs the services of Holly Peacock, an ambitious and liberal young English woman with a gift for marketing. Together, they plot Slaymaker’s tactics as Holly struggles with her conscience and her husband, Richard’s, uncertainty regarding her new career path. As Holly succeeds in her marketing campaign, her marriage and friendships falter. But she is driven. Inevitably, something has got to give, as Holly fights harder to create excuses to justify to herself, and others, the prominent role she is playing in the promotion of a man so at odds with her own beliefs.
This novel is, to be brutally honest, boring. It was a struggle to finish. America City is a detailed examination of the lack of morality involved in politicking. It comments upon the sacrifice of scruples necessary to succeed in a world where principles and ethics are regarded as weaknesses. Yet, although the subject matter could have been utilized in a more engaging way, America City never got off the starting platform. It flopped so badly that waves from it were washing away tumbledown shacks on the western coast of Madagascar.
Rebel Voice got the oozy feeling that the author leapt upon Trump’s outrageous election campaign and decided to base a novel, at least in part, upon it. Nice enough idea, if a tad opportunist. But a lack of intrigue and enticements in America City give it the feel of a rushed and poorly conceived book. Act in haste, repent in leisure, as my Irish granny used to tell me. I doubt if Chris Beckett will pleased in years to come with this terrible effort, even if the moral contained therein is of some value.
Rebel Voice has previously reviewed a novel by the same author. Dark Eden is an excellent book and said review can be found here:
Sult scale rating: 4.5 out of 10. Avoid like a bad case of hemorrhoids, unless you want an itchy hole and the subsequent loss of half of your brain which, hopefully, is not located too close to said hemorrhoids, as it is in the case of Donald J (for Jackass) Trump.