51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing mix of fiction and political commentary,
This review is from: 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America (Hardcover)
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I chose 2030 because I have a certain fondness for dystopian tales, and at first blush, this one seemed to fit squarely in that genre. It didn't take long before I realized that the author was after something more with this book. Noted actor Albert Brooks spins a tale unlike any I've read in quite a while. There are no alien invaders, no massive planet shattering diasters, and no hideously corrupt government officials. The interesting thing is, it's the absence of these things that makes this novel more compelling. Sure, he takes some really huge leaps, but they're not really out of this world leaps. It's how the author skirts on the edge of believability that makes this such a compelling read.
I don't think I'm giving too much away when I say that while there aren't any planet busting disasters,there is a major earthquake involved. It serves as a catalyst to get some things moving and the author does a great job of moving the story along at a brisk pace. The actor's trademark humor is all over this book. I could often hear his voice telling me this story. Even the darkest moments were infused with humor and sardonic wit. He envelops the story with a level of cynicism that is sometimes at odds with events, but is always entertaining.
There are quite a few characters here, and some were more successful than others. They are a varied assortment, and the author does just enough character development to keep the reader invested in what's happening. He does a great job of juggling all their stories and bringing them all together to a resolution that while it doesn't tie everything up, did manage to leave me feeling pretty good about where things were going.
To those who would complain about the author's political agenda, I would just say that this is entertainment. It's a fanciful look at what might happen in the future given the current state of the world and it's economy. Sure, what happens here would probably be Rush's worst nightmare, but no matter what side of the fence your leaning on, you will likely find a few things to think about. For me, the action did not drive this tale. What kept me reading were the characters and the ideas.
Intelligent writing, intriguing ideas, memorable characters, and it's surprising dark humor all combine to make this an enthusiastic recommend.