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Prescient Satire for the 90's,
By A Customer
This review is from: Smoke Jumpers (Hardcover)
There are two reasons for reading any book. The first, and most obvious, is because someone else tells us we have to. The second reason, perhaps the best reason, is because it is fun to do so. Smoke Jumpers is one of those rare books that qualifies on both points. You SHOULD read this book because it is a remarkable treatise on freedom. But more importantly, you will WANT to read this book because it is fun to do so!
I first became acquainted with Smoke Jumpers several years ago. At that time, I was very impressed and time has not diminished my opinion. Smoke Jumpers is Satire. As most of you know, Satire is the most difficult type of writing to pursue. The main reason for this is that satire must, by definition, be offensive. If the satire does not offend you, it is not making you think. If you are not thinking, you should not be reading satire. Yet, even though writing satire is difficult, Paul Freeman does it admirably.
Smoke Jumpers details a future society that has outlawed smoking. Smoking has not only become illegal, it has become the most deadly of all crimes. Special units of government police (The Smoke Jumpers) pursue and arrest all guilty parties. If you are caught for smoking you are punished severely. Smokers are routinely taken from society and banished.
In a world where difficult problems are routinely ignored, smoking is conquered. Is it so far from the reality we are now seeing? Isn't Winston DeWeerd - the President in Smoke Jumpers - a good substitute for Bill Clinton? Of course he is!
Five years ago Smoke Jumpers told of a future, with frightening clarity, that is now coming to pass . The only thing left is for the tobacco companies to move off-shore to protect their assets. (And that may happen yet.)
I don't want to give you the impression that reading Smoke Jumpers will be painful. Even after all of these years some of the ideas (and jokes) still find resonance. "Not all people who drive pick-up trucks are idiots, but all idiots eventually drive pick-up trucks." "I am not saying the lady wasn't bright, but periodically she had to sit by the fan to get her brain recharged." I cannot drive by a "Dairy Queen" without thinking of Mr. Freeman's making them change their name because they offended the homosexual community. Or banning the use of "Tight End" in football because it too was offensive.(In his wisdom, Mr. Freeman changes the tight end to a "Close cather."
If you value freedom and if you desire a good time reading AND thinking; by all means pick up a copy of Smoke Jumpers. It will meet and exceed your expectations.