My Fake War by Andersen Prunty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Bizarro
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those looking for a book that will make them think
Trigger Warnings: Violence
Disclosure: I picked up this book from Amazon while it was on free promotion, inspired by a review I had read. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: The absurd tale of an unlikely soldier forced to fight a war that, quite possibly, does not exist. Saul Dressing is a flabby, middle-aged librarian who just wants to be left alone to listen to jazz, watch porn, and cultivate his toenails. All of this changes when a soldier in a camouflage sweat suit shows up to draft him into the army of the United States of Everything. His mission is simple: go to a foreign country no one has ever heard of and incite the opposition to strike first. All alone in the middle of a desert with no enemy in sight, Saul must come to terms with the absurdity of his situation. Thus begins a surreal journey into the politics of war, consumerism, and giant robots.
It's Rambo meets Waiting for Godot in this subversive satire of American values and the scope of the human imagination.
My Thoughts: While perusing random reviews by a few different people, I stumbled upon the author’s own review – Andersen Prunty gave this book a two-star review. Intrigued, I read farther. I read other reviews. I read the synopsis. I thought: “This book sounds just like the sort of thing I’d enjoy!” And I had liked The Sorrow King, the first book by Prunty I read. So, when I saw this was on a promotion through KDP on Amazon and I could thus pick up a free copy, I jumped all over that.
Now, keep in mind I have never interacted with Prunty outside a single comment on his review of this book, to which he never responded. He certainly has never asked me for a review, nor had any of his friends do so. Bizarro is a strange blend of dark fantasy and horror and comedy, and it’s a sort of thing that really appeals to the more twisted and dark roots on my nature. This is a book I sought out and picked up on my own and am reviewing for my own, personal amusement.
I would love to have a gun like the one that is provided to Dressing. Push a button – instant food, water, tent... bidet? Very handy! The book, while it has its amusing moments, however, has a deadly serious message about the nature of war and greed. This quote, I think, pretty well expresses the point of the whole book:
“...that, I figured, was how this new army was recruited. If you have anything, someone will take it. And they will keep taking until you have absolutely nothing left. They will reduce you to the point where you can’t do anything but fight. And if it’s a choice between fighting or going to a prison then, well, isn’t that fighting for freedom?”
This is a very thought-provoking book, and one I think many people should read. It expresses the subversive nature of our modern political system, the sorts of excuses that are given to assuage the guilt of the people over the wars being waged, and generally pushing people into the direction the government wants them to go rather than following their own consciences. Check this one out – it’s very worth reading.
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