The time: mid 21st century. The place: Gower, Colorado, once a popular ski resort now an area of blight and deprivation. Rut by Scott Phillips has multiple characters engaged in a number of bizarre situations; some funny, some completely depraved and some quite tragic.
If there is a main character in this nightmarish future world, it's a postdoctoral biologist named Bridget. She's a newcomer to Gower having been sent from Boulder to study the stomach turning subject of mutant amphibians.
An experimental novel full of plot elements designed to shock and cause discomfort to the unwary, Rut is a disappointing exercise written by an author capable of much better.
on March 18, 2011
It's almost impossible to describe RUT and still sound sane. So here goes. Take some crystal meth. Now drink a bottle of tequila. And now imagine a post-apocalyptic novel but without the apocalypse. See what I mean? It's set in a dystopian near-future where wine is traded on the black market, religious fundamentalism is a must, toxic waste hasn't had a positive effect on the wildlife and Big Brother is most definitely watching. RUT is quirky, witty and funny but also thought-provoking and slightly unsettling.
Set in the mid-21st century, this story of a small, down-on-its-luck former tourist town in Colorado provides a rather grim portrait of the near future. The global climate change has resulted in dangerously hot summers and long, brutal winters. The United States seems to have turned its back on some of its founding principles and is involved in protracted foreign wars. Environmental damage seems to be commonplace.
But this really isn't a story about any of that. It is the story of a small town, slowly dying as the world changes, stealing its economic lifeblood. All the residents here know each other, and their relationships and feuds are the heart of the story. Stacy Elder lives on her family ranch, raising her stepson and wondering why and where her third husband disappeared. Her stepson is intriqued by a visiting biologist, who in turn is fascinated by the healthy colony of frogs in the ranch's pond.
This is really more of a character study, without any strong plotlines, and yet the people here are fascinating, and the societal changes in the wake of the environmental and political changes are actually quite compelling. The book never quite went were I expected it to, but it managed to hold my interest right to the end.
on May 31, 2011
I t has been a while since I read this. I have since passed it on to others. As the other reviewer stated, it is hard to describe this book. Set in the future with twists and turns that will leave you wondering if you enjoyed the book or just couldn't stop reading it because it was so outrageous.
Definitely worth the read and time to read it. It's just an experience that has to be experienced firsthand!