- File Size: 2320 KB
- Print Length: 441 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: ALM Publishing LLC (November 1, 2016)
- Publication Date: November 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01M61B8TQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
All Lesser Means Kindle Edition
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The parallel with the times we are living in now with the election of Donald Trump unveiling just how fractured and fragile the Union of American States really is (any serious argument that we have put racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and a whole host of other maladies behind us is now without question utterly preposterous) is eerie. It is hardly irrational to imagine this country resembling the America of “All Lesser Means” someday, when destructive tendencies are baked into the fabric of the nation and the only realistic outcome is implosion.
I will say that I am gratified to know that there will be a sequel – that the story is far from over – because had I not been aware of that, the end of this book would have felt like a dud, like I have seen elsewhere in otherwise great storytelling. And I still have no idea how the whole thing will end, so needless to say I am waiting breathlessly for the sequel. We do get a glimpse into an even more advanced future, where the “revolution” seems to have finally succeeded. I don’t know if that is a glimpse at the end of the story or the middle of the sequel. If it is the former, I have confidence that Mr. Pipes will fill in a complete narrative in the sequel that makes this ending make sense. If it is the latter, then I’m really excited to see how it ends.
Finally, I feel like there is room for the reader to pick his or her own characters to sympathize with, like, or hate, apart from what the writer might intend. My own choice for top villain so far is the character who seems to be the chief anarchist in the whole story. I’m being coy because I want to spoil as little as possible with this review. The character that seems to do the most damage, I actually found to be the most sympathetic. I found him to be naïve and manipulated by other characters.
I imagine if I were living in Mr. Pipes’ fictional world, I would oppose the solution of anarchy because I see it as setting up a sort of cult of personality, no matter how hard you try to avoid such a thing. As a Christian, earthly messiahs tend to cause me great concern. This book features a few who appear to be as principled as you could expect a self-appointed messiah to be, but of necessity they end up acting like an all-knowing authority figure who acts at least partly on his own self-interest.
And yet, I was able to thoroughly enjoy this book without sacrificing my point of view. There can be no question that desperate times beget desperate measures, regardless of our attempts to forestall them. It does us no good to bury our heads in the sand and hide from the way things are trending. In a very small way, “All Lesser Means” provokes fruitful musing about where we are headed. If we are truly living in apocalyptic times (as I think we are), hiding from horrible truths – as salutary as that normally is – is no longer possible. There is no future in it. I commend this book to all readers.
The timeliness of the story with its' obvious parallels to our own current headlines is compelling and draws you in to see how the author has prognosticated events that may proceed if certain technical breakthroughs were to occur.
All in all, a real page turner that holds you in its' grip until the very end with a satisfying finish, all the while making you think about the potential possibilities that could possibly become reality and then makes you want the next installment.
The author shapes his characters well without giving away too much information, good guys who cannot always be good guys in their complex situations, yet we trust that they'll always stick to their principles. At times I found it difficult to know which time period I was in, but the plot hooked me from the beginning and the pace built steadily to a very satisfying denouement that leaves the reader poised for what happens next!
Above all, the strongest theme I took away from All Lesser Means is "whom can you trust?" No-one can effect change on his or her own, so at some point you have to take a leap of faith, trust your instincts and hope you've backed the right horse.