Book Review No. 22 suggests it's an opportunity for the Tom Clancy stuff, plus a chance to have some fun at the expense of "a bunch of useless college professors, untalented artists, moronic movie stars, and San Francisco chardonnay sippers who think they can personally run every aspect of a country when they know absolutely nothing." That's from chapter 14, read it yourself to find out who said it. Or perhaps there's a more substantive message: the only thing more hazardous to dispossessed communities of color than a professional police force is a politically reliable police force, that goes Chekist when Comrade Nyetnyev says so.
Most of the action takes place in California, which, in the way of third world hell-holes everywhere, is carefully guarded gated communities surrounded by misery. With revolution simmering. The idea of California turning into some sort of Third World experience does turn up in other works, with different focuses, and it's the perfect foil for the overweening identity politics and polymorphous perversity that Mr Schlichter revels in sending up. And the story is about the Tom Clancy stuff.
Thus, the railroader in me, or perhaps Mr Schlichter's quartermaster, have to imagine what is going on elsewhere in the People's Republic of North America. The text refers to a border conflict going on north of the Ohio River. But I have to contemplate the Twin Cities, Madison, and Milwaukee, islands of appletini sippers and food-stamp recipients in the middle of hunt country (recall, yeomen with deer rifles, not toffs with hounds), or Cleveland and Chicago, which could be blockaded easily enough, particularly if the Cubs and the Indians revert to form and the Bears and Browns (would there be either Indians or Browns in Cleveland?) continue to do badly. Chicago itself is already taking on aspects of that gated community, anyway? I anticipated this part.
The elite live east of Wrigleyville or along the lake or near the Magnificent Mile or the Loop, including, for whatever it's worth, in Chicago's Trump Tower. Go south from Wrigleyville to Printers Row in the South Loop, and east to the lake, you have what, fifteen square miles of privilege surrounded by the Third World. How long can the Democratic part of that bicoastal, bipartisan elite sustain that coalition?Perhaps, though, with Mr Trump winning, the talk of a separation, amicable or not, will originate on the coasts. I hope it's all in fun.
(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)