A disturbing vision of a future where America is controlled by the country’s wealthy elite, told in the spirit of George Orwell’s 1984.
George Washington Duffet is the patriarch of one of the five richest families in the United States and the current head of the Augusta National Golf Club, an organization consisting of America’s super-rich, who have hijacked the government to become a not-so-clandestine ruling class. Their goal is to preserve the “Current Order,” a political and financial structure enacted during the debt crisis of 2032, which has eliminated business regulation and government oversight to allow the ANGC to manipulate the country to increase its bottom line. The club’s hold is weakening however, and George must maintain its interests even as petty grudges between the families, and dissent and dysfunction from within George’s own, threaten to tear the Order apart. Schoellkopf (New York Measure, 2002, etc.) calls upon a deep knowledge of the United States’ past political history to craft a future where democracy has relinquished all power to a form of economic fascism, drawing alarming connections to America’s present-day fiscal woes. Yet while timely in its subject matter, the book’s clunky exposition and verbosity keep it from addressing these issues in an engaging way, leaving the reader with little story and too much back story. Possible social commentary is left by the wayside as well, with the novel following only the affluent members of the ANGC and never stating definitively how the organization affects the common American. This leaves family drama and political maneuvering as the book’s focus, but no member of the ANGC or Duffet family develops enough to properly challenge George. Ultimately, Schoellkopf’s novel isn’t the sort of cautionary tale to offer hope or answers, but instead opts to show just how bad things could get.
Intriguing and relevant in its premise, but overly dense and baffling in its execution.