Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ads in your Head

Ephemera by Jeffery M. Anderson

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Summary: Ephemera is not a 1984, knock off, dystopian novel. It is dark, gritty and satirical future fiction, performed by an off-beat cast of unforgettable characters. This is future fiction in the hands of a talented literary writer.

Nester Cab, a second rate magazine writer, goes about his mundane life, disenfranchised and hiding from the roaring city he lives in. But, a mysterious note left in his office awakens his ravenous curiosity and sets him on a journey to find a missing soldier. In his travels, he becomes entangled with a clandestine anti-government organization, witnesses a delusional and violent American society and stumbles ever deeper into unfathomable government conspiracies.

Taking inspiration from internet conspiracy theorists, talk radio and the media, Anderson has created an edgy and frightening world where no one and nothing are as they appear. It is a world where the extreme is the every day, where the preoccupation with the meaningless novelty has consumed society. Meanwhile, the government conducts its business behind the curtain, with ominous intentions, All of it will feel uncomfortably familiar to the modern reader. Darkly humorous and palpably real, Ephemera is an epic journey that will have you believing even the most outrageous conspiracies just might happen.

Review: A rather depressing dystopian like read with a silly yet utterly tragic ending.

Ephemera had some elements of a dystopian novel in it. I personally considered it more of a “what could happen” in the near future science fiction sort of story. And it is depressing. Advertising has taken over everyone’s lives and no one really seems to mind. I do agree with a number of the sentiments in this book, mainly how genius creates new inventions that makes our lives easier and oftentimes, makes us lazier as well. Our lives are speeding up and people are trying to cram more and more into what time we do have.

Ephemera did start off slowly. There were a lot of disparate elements that had to be brought together. It took a while to bring everything together, but it was worth the wait. I wasn’t sure exactly what the novel was building up to, but I must admit to being surprised by the ending. I was certainly not expecting that. Stillman and his group reminded me of the paranoia that people have that a group of a few people are running the world. I personally don’t believe that theory, but Ephemera does a good job of making it seem all too likely.


Recommendation: I would recommend this to those that enjoy dystopian novels or near future science fiction stories.

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