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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Review of "Year Zero"

Year ZeroYear Zero by Rob Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was quite a ride, but a bit of a let down at the end.

The premise of the novel is that humans have a particular talent in music that other beings in the universe do not possess, and when pop music radio and television was discovered by the billions of beings in other galaxies, they began to, illegally by our standards, download our music. Thus the conflict, all of those downloads created an enormous debt that some in the far off ether want to cancel by destroying Earth and all its inhabitants.

Basically, the book is a satire of our culture. The books protagonist, the man who holds in his hands the fate of all humanity is; the horror, the horror; a lawyer whose firm specializes in music copy write law. The book's spoofing only begins with lawyers and their trade. Reid sets his sights on pop music, reality television, video gaming, stereo equipment, unions (both the good and the bad), cab drivers (both the good and the bad), record executives, and, did I mention lawyers?

The writing style reminded me of Douglas Adams "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", filled with fast paced changes in characters, settings, and situations along with nonsensical conflicts and even more nonsensical resolutions.

I felt that the novel's resolution was a bit of a let down taking place as it does in a courtroom located in a galaxy far, far away. However, this is in keeping with a novel that is centered mainly on the absurdities the law creates mainly for the profit of lawyers.

By the way, did you know that Paul McCartney is going to live to be 164?

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