ISOLATION by Aaron Bennett


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A cluster of pedestrian characters tear the world asunder in a post-nuclear world large in scope but short on vision.

In 1999, a limited nuclear war decimates most of the planet and thrusts the United States into chaos. Fifty years later, mankind lives in severe, militaristic city-states run by the mysterious “elders,” in which food is scarce but bullets are abundant. Terry, a physically robust but otherwise unremarkable youth, breaks out of his own compound near the remains of New York City. He starts a long journey west, walking the earth like Kane in Kung Fu and getting into trouble with the various revolutionaries, petty tyrants and borderline psychotics who cross his path. The military aspects of the story have an air of authenticity that’s likely the result of the author’s time in the military. He describes weapons in intimate, nearly fetishistic detail, but the frequency and lustiness of the gun battles becomes tiresome, as does the veiled but palpable undercurrent of violence toward females. Many of the other toss-off characters smack of pure bigotry–one describes the city of San Francisco, destroyed in an assault, as “Once home to faggots and sicko’s” [sic]. The plot deteriorates halfway through, as the author injects decade-long leaps in time and hastens the deaths of the two “heroes” in separate nuclear suicide missions, leaving Terry’s son Jason to fulfill his awkward mission. Bennett aspires to post-apocalyptic visions of the future like Richard Matheson’s seminal novel, I Am Legend, or the dystopian revenge saga, Mad Max, but falls short with the ungainly style of a bargain-bin video game.

An adolescent daydream of the future, smitten with its own unrestrained violence.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 2005
ISBN: 141206627-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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