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Dignity Paperback – May 13, 2011
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"In Ken Layne's new novel Dignity, abandoned housing developments and forlorn desert strip malls become a creche for a new society ... as refugees from the failing American economic system try to remake their lives. Highly recommended." -KCET Los Angeles
"The release of Layne's new novel, Dignity, seems to codify his ideas--the mystical power of the deserts of the American West and a populist fatalism--perfectly." -The Rumpus
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Top Customer Reviews
Rather than burn the mills and factories as did the followers of Ned Lud, the mysterious "B." and his disciples withdraw from the rat race, move off the grid, and forsake the Internet (including Wonkette) as modern society collapses around them following the housing crash. This movement to a communal, agrarian lifestyle poses the same threat to the powers that be however, and the hell hounds of capitalism are set on the peaceful communities.
The storytelling mechanism, a series of letters written over several years and delivered to the clandestine communities by courier to avoid detection, sometimes lacks continuity, but allows the reader to avoid too much character development, emphasizing that the movement is the main character.
While I love his current events-related writing, this work is nothing like any of that. Yet, still, it's excellent. Sure, you can detect commonalities between his half-decade of posting and Dignity. For example, even though he manages not to use the phrase "Anusburger" there's an obvious undercurrent of disdain for factory farming and such practices. But even those Layne-esque (you heard it here first) sentiments are just part of a larger narrative that is positive and interesting and hopeful - not to mention compelling. The novel's format itself works well for the effect he's trying to achieve and it ends up being quite a page turner. I grabbed it on a Kindle App this morning (my first ever eBook) and didn't put it down until just now. I don't want to go into detail about the world he creates, but it's fair to say that there's a lot more that could be written on the topic. It's not an entirely original concept, but his execution manages to avoid the usual post-apocalyptic cliches and focus on a more uplifting tone. Only at one point does a midget riding a giant march into the novel and take control of a community, for example.Read more ›
I want to share this book with several people (none of whom own kindles) and am looking forward to getting several copies for this purpose as soon as it is made available.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ken Layne is clearly a major talent, with a real nose for the zeitgeist. Hard to imagine a story more germane to our times, and one which doesn't just criticize the current state... Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Rob McLean
Believable and thought provoking. Not science fiction, not historical fiction, but visionary fiction I guess you could say. A vision of what could happen.Published on March 12, 2012 by Julia Buckley
I Reviewed this excellent book on The Rumpus (.net) earlier this year. I wrote, in part:
Layne also captures their spiritual needs in what is the most prominent... Read more
If everyone lived communally in abandoned houses, grew their own food, was vegetarian, celebrated the solstices and equinoxes, and avoided "the three poisons" (hint, I'm typing on... Read morePublished on August 18, 2011 by R. C. Jackson
Finishing off this fascinating yarn during the latest chapter of the ongoing Global Financial Apocalypse, it was easy to forget that I was reading fiction. Read morePublished on August 8, 2011 by Amazon Customer