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Mendacities Paperback – July 14, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[W]ritten with a strong and intellegent voice... The author certainly knows how to build up suspense and keeps the reader wanting to know more." -- Amazon Vine Reviewer, 2011 ABNA Contest

"[H]
as a realistic, wry and authentic voice..." -- Amazon Vine Reviewer, 2011 ABNA Contest

"It's cool in so many different ways, you can't classify it. ... And the whole thing is couched in prose that is both beautiful and endlessly surprising.  The simplest scene may cause you to spray coffee on your Kindle, or just sit back and stare in sheer disbelief at the originality of it all." - Brent Nichols

About the Author

Mr. Berger lives in the midwestern United States, with his wife and two children. This is his first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453697241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453697245
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,739,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A bicyclist, cook, and "cat person", George Berger wrote a handful of books between 2010 and 2014, about love, goats, and whatever else struck his fancy.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
George Berger's Mendacities is his debut novel, and it's one that I stumbled into (literally) as we often do on the 'Net, but more on that later.

Reading the premise of some quirky high-school students who expose a government conspiracy raised an eyebrow, or as the author put it himself, this book is "an entertainingly dystopian coming-of-age story of love, lies, and casual nudity, which defies genre conventions like a Mideast dictator thumbing his over-sized nose at the United Nations...but in a good way."

In this book, we meet our anonymous narrator, a generally cynical high-school student who is constantly eating. There's Nat (Nataliya), an occasionally caustic tomboy who has no problem with casual nudity. Then there's Al (Alice), an often-unfathomable transfer student with a shaved head, and the daughter of a high-ranking political character.

It all starts with a high-school project for a communications class after their previous teacher had died, an investigation of what is called the Garnet Hotel disaster, which had taken place a decade earlier, and this all seems to interlace with the Nine Months War that had taken place in the past, one in which a devices known as Cicadas had been employed as a defense move. As they research through newspapers and the town library, they find that things don't jive. Author Berger has been building a slow, subtle background to this narration, and then in Chapter Six we see this:

"Have you ever done something in life that later turned out to be stupendously important, and then kicked yourself because you didn't take notes or pictures or anything at the time?
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By Yarrow S. Paisley on April 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My rating for its entertainment value would be three stars, but I give at another star for effort! (I'll explain that below.) Plus, I don't want to mess up that lovely array of four stars already fanned out up there... And it really was a very enjoyable experience!

The style is entertaining, and I was intrigued by the initial promises of the plot as it unfolded, but the author loses track somewhere around the 60% mark. (I read the Kindle Edition, can you tell?) As in, the plot drops off a cliff at that point and makes a faraway "splat." Nothing much happens for a long long time. The characters kind of disappear into vague exposition.... So let's not talk about it, okay? :)

Which leads me to my next point. The author, on his website, says the book was written in 2010 by a man with a wife and two kids, but uh, that would be pretty hilarious if it were true! Because it reads as if it were written by a very precocious 15-year old boy sometime in the mid- to late eighties. Early nineties? (Don't get me wrong, the style, grammar, and editing all deserve high marks!) If these are contemporary kids, then where are the cell phones, the internet, computers, etc? Do people still use rolls of film?

Nothing wrong with all of that, I think it's great! That's one of the beautiful things about the Kindle and the new self-publishing movement -- you can pull out those old novels moldering in your trunk (or hard drive) and give them a new lease on life. And that's really the only reason I stuck with it after the author lost the thread (or rather, I skimmed -- trust me, you'll need to start seriously skimming once you hit the 60% mark). I was simply curious about this high school kid's project as an artifact, and it aroused a certain amount of nostalgia in me for a bygone age.
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