From the author of the literary pulp phenomenon Spaceman Blues comes a future history cautionary tale, a heist movie in the style of a hippie novel. Liberation is a speculation on life in near-future America after the country suffers an economic cataclysm that leads to the resurgence of ghosts of its past (such as the human slave trade). Our heroes are the Slick Six, a group of international criminals who set out to alleviate the worst of these conditions and put America on the road to recovery. Liberation is a story about living down the past, personally and nationally; about being able to laugh at the punch line to the long, dark joke of American history. Slattery’s prose moves seamlessly between present and past, action and memory. With Liberation, he celebrates the resilience and ingenuity of the American spirit.
There is a story thread you can follow along the twisting pathway that is this broody and bizarre post-apocolyptic novel. However, if you are the kind of listener that runs your audio book while driving, cooking, or engaging in mindless tasks, then avoid this purchase. There are entire segments of this story that the listener must replay to determine if we are engaged in present or past tense (always a bad sign in the first hour of listening). Other times, we wonder if the science fiction/fantasy metaphors are part of the novel's structure, or if we are listening to an author's prose whose stream of consciousness has run totally amok.
The premise of the book is sound...the Dollar ($) collapses. Then we get the big "and." For Slattery, the author, his big "and" is to address the crisis by inventing the dream team of anti-heroes to save the day (maybe). To make these misfits more plausible, the author endows them with characteristics better left for bar room braggadocio. And, herein, lies the failure of this novel. It's all so out there...so far fetched...that the book is just a jumble of loosely connected stories leading to...well, I won't say because that's a spoiler. But...whatever man! It certainly is not Heller's "The Dog Stars." His post-apocolyptic novel was brilliant, believable, and left us empathetic with it's characters.
As for the main characters in "Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America," I could care less about them. Feh!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Author Brian Slattery has written a different type of dystopian novel but he has written it extremely well. This is one of the most realistic dystopan stories that I've listened to. The author adds a lot of details like humor. Slattery provides different ways things could go wrong after an industrial collapse. It provides several different scenarios, a variety of characters, and communities that react to the collapse in various ways. I found this story to be fun, fast paced, and one check of a rollercoaster ride.
Narrator Paul Heitsch does a wonderful job with this story. He brought this story to life. He does a great job with the characters and their voices of them all. I didn't have any trouble identifying who was speaking throughout the story. Paul did a magnificent job at keeping me connected and glued to the story. Paul made me feel as if I were there not just listening, but more like I was watching the story play out as Paul told it. He really brings the story to life. I definitely recommend you give Liberation a try and check out other stories that Paul Heitsch has narrated. I believe you'll find his narrating skills are as great as I do.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful