Karademas’ debut novel reads like alternate history fueled by political manifesto.
The novel starts slowly, bogged down by the narrator’s overly long description of the minutiae of daily life. Fed up with what he sees as a stagnating country, Karademas, the narrator, decides to do something to fix it. His solution is to write an essay, which he publishes via a vanity press. Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the Rush song “The Trees,” the credo melds ideas for a planned residential community with Randian philosophy. With the publication of the essay in early 2011, the novel switches style to become an alternate history, as Karademas hits the road with Republican presidential frontrunner, Ron Paul. It isn’t until well into the book, when the narrator is badly injured in a bombing at a Paul campaign stop, that we see any real action. At this point, the book suddenly picks up speed. The narrator is contacted by the influential Bilderberg group, an event foreshadowed earlier in the book. This sets in motion a string of events that helps him realize his vision for a utopian community, completely transforming his life. Marital tension mentioned at the start of the book surfaces as the narrator falls for another woman. These novelistic touches temper what is essentially a political rant, a fact broadcast by the warning in bold typeface that concludes the first part of the book: “Obama beware. Utopia is coming.” By the second half, the action and political intrigue are stepped up a notch, which almost makes up for the slow start. The book closes with an invitation for readers to share the book and its message. While Rand’s influence runs though the novel, the writing here evokes her beliefs far more than her writing ability.
Ayn Rand fans might enjoy this unique homage to her work.