Book - 2017
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"The H LYW OD sign presides over a Los Angeles devastated by a weaponized microbe that has been accidentally spread around the globe, deleting human identity. In post-NK3 Los Angeles, a sixty-foot-tall fence surrounds the hills where the rich used to live, but the mansions have been taken over by those with the only power that matters: the power of memory. Life for the community inside the Fence, ruled over by the new aristocracy, the Verified, is a perpetual party. Outside the Fence, in downtown Los Angeles, the Verified use an invented mythology to keep control over the mindless and nameless Drifters, Shamblers, and Bottle Bangers who serve the gift economy until no longer needed. The ruler, Chief, takes his guidance from gigantic effigies of a man and a woman in the heart of the Fence. They warn him of trouble to come, but who is the person to watch: the elusive Eckmann, holed up with the last functioning plane at LAX; Shannon Squier, the chisel-wielding pop superstar from the pre-NK3 world, pulled from the shambling masses; a treacherous member of Chief's inner circle; or Hopper, the uncommon Drifter compelled by an inner voice to search for a wife whose name and face he doesn't know? Each threatens to upset the delicate power balance in this fragile world. In deliciously dark prose, Tolkin winds a noose-like plot around this melee of despots, prophets, and rebels as they struggle for command and survival in a town that still manages to exert a magnetic force, even as a ruined husk"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic,, 2017.
Edition: First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780802125439
Branch Call Number: FIC TOLK
Characteristics: 300 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: NK 3


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May 25, 2017

I've heard reviews calling NK3 the "first book of the Trump era." This is an apt description, in ways. The world's people have lost their memories. Through rehab, some of the surface levels of social connection have returned, and most people are operating on the basic, shallow level of food and sex. Think of a Burning Man festival that never ends. No roving gangs of bloodthirsty whatevers lurking at every turn, at least in the City Center. Post-apocalyptic stories are usually far more brutal.
The problem with the books premise, however, that it leaves most of the book unengaging, and I really didn't care about any of the characters. t - if you consider the survivors of the NK3 virus are utterly without human qualities - sure, they are "human" beings, but vapid, ignorant, and utterly lacking in curiosity. It was only the last 50 pages or so that pulled me in, wanting to find out about one of the fringe character's subplots. The ending was pretty open ended, but sort of a big "so what." After hoping for something more outstanding after wading through all of the non-engaging characters, I was left disappointed.


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