Electric Order

Electric Order ISBN: 9788494878718 Kwill Books, First Electronic Edition by Armani Martel.

Plot: Set in a dystopia of the future where the pattern is slanted toward ‘those who have’ controlling literally all of life while ‘the have-nots’ in the worst scenario, sign a Guaranteed Living Income Agreement that provides the absolute minimal of everything for existence. Here the reader is introduced to a constantly soul-searching Angolan born, Portugal raised Paulo Suarez, a detective in the elite department of Criminal Corporate Investigations stationed in Canada. (Most of what the reader learns about him is not forthcoming until quite late in the book.) His virtual partner in a department that does not have a partner system per se, is Nadine. Ana is head of the department and his love. His moral inclinations cause him to prepare a revealing report on a powerful Chinese corporation and he must be demoted. He is moved to Homicide where he acquires a new partner, Lula Majumdar about whom we hear little. They are assigned to find and apprehend Daniel Bremmer, who reportedly has killed several people. Daniel is the son of Richard Bremmer, now incarcerated for publishing ‘unacceptable’ articles. The story describes in some detail Daniel’s life and activities and the story proceeds as the apparently streetwise but otherwise not too bright, greatly mentally disturbed youth manages to escape capture through quite a number of escapades. A number of additional characters of varying roles of importance are introduced and an epilogue somewhat provides ‘a wrap’.

Discussion: This addendum is provided because upon finishing my review, I perused those provided by others and discovered that we were monstrously far apart. Many reasons for this dichotomy exist, probably most prominently a notable difference in what one believes makes good reading. Only the reader can decide. However, to provide this viewer’s viewpoint, the author has presented a very good portrait of a chaotically degenerative world, but unfortunately peopled by poorly delineated characters with whom it is difficult to empathize, in a rather confusing plot that would benefit from editing and proofreading. Additionally, it is not for the reader who prefers to avoid recurring descriptions, some regrettably disgusting, of the decadent conditions to be found in such a degenerative society. Granted, the author has depicted an excellent realistic portrayal, but not pleasant reading. For example, (some of the even less delicate words and/or descriptions are removed) “Lucy is wearing a blouse cut just below the waist line and above the belly button. She is strung on a pole with her two arms holding on for dear life. Her right knee resting on the shoulder of a mid-thirties, fat, red haired and bearded bloke. Sweat drips from the tiny slits in his eyes, pours down his dry skin follicles and on mustard colored stains blotched about his neck. His trousers are wrapped around his boots. His filthy…. an old man and a young whore cum for one another…. See Joe drink a fifth of Jack and cum on to a brunette with lice and blood clots in his hair. He moves from the scene so as to follow the scent of food….The old boys and ladies too old for …. (and) washing white stockings in a wooden barrel. A drunk vomiting while screaming obscenities to the winter goddess. Just past this and he can treat himself to the wonders of uncontrolled and unregulated nouvelle cuisine,”

Summary: I fully realize and accept the fact that basic, raw descriptions are commonly accepted in today’s literature and enjoyed by many of today’s readers who thirst for unvarnished reality. Regrettably, after having witnessed the results of similar events, this reviewer prefers reading less disgustingly descriptive scenes and prefers actually an eclectic choice of fiction/non-fiction that is enjoyable and/or instructive. My review more specifically is a caveat for similar readers and my apologies to the author and to readers who have an interest in books such as provided by this author. However, I should think even here readers would like to have a better edited and proofread book with more ‘compete’ characters.

2* 4* for description of a dystrophic state; 1* or less, reasons described.

Illegal

ILLEGAL, ISBN: 9780999185216 Cotopaxi Publishing, copyright and written by John Dennehy.

Plot: Grossly unhappy with the political climate in the United States and particularly resenting the rising nationalism (opposed to true patriotism) with its belief in their superiority to people of other countries, and obviously unable to effect change, the protagonist decided to leave the U. S. Searching, he discovered a job offer to teach English in Ecuador. He boarded a plane, entered the country, began teaching and felt ‘at home’. Ecuador during this period was in a near chaotic situation with a disastrous political system (elected eleven presidents in seven years), rampant corruption and bribes required for most activity. Residents had developed a rather free-wheeling attitude toward governmental authority, starting numerous road blockages and more. Completely enamored with the citizenry and of their temerity to exhibit their displeasure, he enthusiastically joined them in their frequent ‘revolts’. He also discovered the ‘love of his life’ in a young woman who lied to him, had occasional other sexual liaisons and fought violently with him after their occasional drinking bouts. Still his love persisted and with Lucia, plus his growing attachment to other friends he had made, he was willing to illegally cross the border several times – an activity he believed ‘necessary’. He had been deported once and the requirement to leave and return every 60 – 90 days required to reside in Ecuador, would mean exposure of this fact if legal crossing were attempted. The story continues by following his various activities within Ecuador and other countries during his extended stay and finally into the election of the popular presidential candidate who was ‘going to provide a government totally for the good of its citizens’. Unfortunately, this latter period in residence was that in which this ‘good’ president gradually demonstrated massively corruptive activity as well, resulting ultimately in delusion descending upon him and accompanied sadly by realization that Lucia also was no longer the ‘love of his life’.

Discussion: This autobiographical tale provides interesting observations on Ecuador in an unfortunate period from which it finally recovered, although again showing rumblings of political discord. Seemingly the author also has used this as a platform to project fundamentally a political viewpoint that entreats additional commentary because that offered is most interesting as the beliefs set forth by many impressionable naïve young people today, many of whom have not been deprived or abused but rather provided considerably more than life’s basics. As described, he was afforded a good life with his biological family’s constant support, including even continuing financial assistance when needed during this ‘rebel period’. He quite adeptly points out several problems facing U.S. residents, but particularly centers on nationalism and border control, accusing the U.S. of acting most unfairly in both cases. Summarily he states: “Borders are everywhere they exist between nations …, and they exist inside each of our minds. It doesn’t have to be this way…. products have freedom of movement. Why shouldn’t the people who made those products be afforded the same freedom? …why shouldn’t admission to migrants be the norm, and their exclusion the exception? …. Within the European Union, though travel is unrestricted, each nation maintains its unique identity … (also) there are a multitude of unique hubs that exist within adjacent neighborhoods ….”

His assessment, ideally speaking, is absolutely correct. Most regrettably realism   seems to indicate a naïve failure to assess the basic components. First, “It doesn’t have to be this way” completely ignores some individual issues (see below). Second, a huge difference in the numbers of individuals who wish to immigrate to various countries exists. Largest number are those wishing to immigrate to the United States. Here, for years they’ve arrived, proceeded through immigration procedures, remained initially within their own enclave but gradually accepted the mores of our country and moved to become participating United States Citizens, accepted the laws and enjoyed the freedom offered that in many ways far exceed that encountered in others. Parenthetically and most unfortunately, today’s immigrants cannot seem to ‘fend for themselves’ causing a drain on the citizens for financial aid often for sustained periods. Third, individual differences. Everyone wishing to immigrate does not have the preferably altruistic attitude. Some come to ‘send money back home’, some have criminal records and some, like the author, might indulge in illegal activity ‘because it was necessity to live in the manner that was most satisfying for him’ – justifying the illegality as something that did no harm and he was dealing with corrupt individuals anyway. Absolutely true, but still an illegal act that could have been avoided in the first place when he decided to ‘throw himself into the local revolts’. A country must be aware of such an individual because the ‘next time’ harm might be done. Fourth, he touts the free borders of the European Union, completely ignoring the magnitude of the resulting problems. In most, local worker/economy has suffered but more impressively, criminal activity has greatly accelerated. The author does mention “unique hubs exist in adjacent neighborhoods” but does not include the fact that their strict adherence to their own rigid customs too frequently are distinctly incompatible with those of their new society. Perfectly acceptable EXCEPT that with increasing frequency they are blatantly attempting to impose their mores upon the inhabitants of the country that has been kind enough to welcome them. Reason certainly seems to indicate that such activity definitely provides an unfortunate but undoubtedly cogent reason for existence of borders. Regrettably, these features are not taken into account in this otherwise well-written but rather critical depiction of the country that seems somehow to have provided him with most of ‘the better thing in life”.

Conclusion: I hope that anyone reading this review will not interpret it as ‘taking sides’. It simply is commentary that would seem necessary to include when reading this seemingly highly politically motivated presentation in the form of an autobiography, offered by a young man who appears only to have performed a surface examination of a multifaceted, seemingly unsolvable dilemma. (An aside – unfortunately, a number of errors exist pertinent to Ecuador.)

4* Well-written autobiography/political commentary; missing details provided here.