I'm pleased to host the very first Crooks&Liars Book Club this afternoon for my good friend, Lee Jackson-- known around these parts as the inimitable NonnyMouse. Lee/Nonny will be here to answer your questions about Redemption, and who knows? Maybe this cyber-conversation will be the spark for another Lee Jackson novel, as it's very clear to me having read Redemption, that many of the stories that we've covered here at C&L have inspired that novel.
I asked C&Ler Gregory if he would write a short review of Redemption to whet your appetite and get the conversational ball rolling:
When asked to review a novel titled “Redemption”, I feel that I should preface my remarks with a confession. I haven’t read very much American fiction since the advent of the Gee Dubya era. The near daily idiocy and jaw dropping insanity of the past six years, as “reported” by the US press, has largely supplanted the need for fiction with an improbable story of a once great nation sliding into theocratic fascism. Author Lee Jackson, our very own Nonny Mouse, has collected the threads of her story from the events of today and has woven them into a cautionary tapestry for tomorrow.
Set in the near future, we follow the story of Ben Trinity’s unintentional arrival in Redemption, Montana. In the wake of this accident, Ben’s past collides with his future in a tale of a police state gone amok, with the town of Redemption providing an isolated and rural battleground. Ms Jackson has populated her small western town with believable characters, as well as the usual assortment of small town bigots with big hats, and this gives the book a ring of authenticity and depressing realism.
“Redemption” is genre fiction with a message or, more accurately, a warning. Can those ideals that were once considered to be “American” survive the gross negligence and criminal incompetence of the Bush administration intact? Will economic shock and another terrorist attack drive a frightened population into the comforting arms of fascism? Is it too late to reverse the degradation of our civil liberties or does the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth or Fourteenth Amendments really matter if you can still buy guns and cheap crap down at WalMart?
Maybe “redemption” is possible, but it won’t happen by accident.
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So with that, I welcome Lee formally to our book club and I encourage all C&Lers to take part.