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Ephemera Paperback – May 4, 2011
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"Ephemera is a fine read with plenty of twists and turns, very highly recommended." - Midwest Book Review
"Anderson's vision is bleak and incredibly well drawn and part of the journey here is just hanging on and seeing what he throws at us next...Ephemera is darkly dystopic and the truth Nester must search for is illusive and always just out of his grasp, but Anderson's clear voice makes a challenging journey worthwhile." - January Magazine
"Anderson is particularly adept at character description and the dialogue rings true...Your interest will be grabbed from the beginning to the end of this novel." - Bookviews
"...Ephemera is a workmanlike dystopian set piece that finds a credible basis in modern America...an entertaining read..." - Blog Critics
"Jeffery M. Anderson does an excellent job of bringing home the idea that we need to be more aware of technology's impact on us as human beings. His writing style grabs the reader and pulls him or her in with an engrossing plot and characters that range from charming to terrifying." - Bonnie Lamer (author)
About the Author
Jeffery Anderson is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the former Senior Publicity Director for the publicity firm FSB Associates. He lives with his wife and son in New Jersey. Learn more at www.theephemera.com
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This dystopian society is controlled by corporate profiteers, and through it, Anderson manages to shine a harsh light on aspects of our own society: not only consumerism but also anticonsumer activism, not only those who blindly adopt technology but also technophobes, not only religion but also those who quest after material goods as a substitute for spiritual exploration. Although the kingmaker who proves to be the antagonist is brought down at the end, this is not accomplished via the typical beat-the-bad-guy happy ending. In fact, very little about this novel is representative of the genre.
Beyond the larger plot and theme, there are the stylistic details. Anderson's reliance on active dialogue tags (`"I know," she sang defensively'; `"Well," she swam in her own buzzing head'; `". . . on a holiday weekend," she popped'), for example, sometimes made me yearn for a simple "he said" or "she exclaimed." In addition, this may be a challenge to readers' vocabulary, as when one character "flexed a nare." Some lengthy dialogue sections allow one character to lecture to several others or contain fruitless arguments, and these, along with the detailed worldbuilding, are more common in literary and futuristic fiction than in thrillers.
Some of the characters (such as Smedley Butler, the leader of the Neo-Luddite movement) are even bizarre enough that they would not be out of place in the pages of literary or experimental fiction. I hope we are not supposed to find ourselves in these largely unpleasant characters, however.
This book may seem at first to portray a genuine potential reality, but the execution of it takes us further and further along a metaphorical journey that in its unrealism eventually gets at least one point across: how can we preserve our own humanity in a bureaucratically and technologically advanced society?
(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review.)
Cab finds a note left behind by an intruder addressed to him including his serial number to locate AWOL Corporal Forsythe who "knows where they are." Although everyone except Aida and him are gone from the office, he assumes this is an inane prank. However, with nothing better to do after a few drinks, he begins a search for the missing soldier. His inquiry leads him to the violent Neo-Luddite Army whose leader Stillman holds Cab prisoner for indoctrination into the government-corporate conspiracies led by the real power in DC the Secretary of Commerce.
This extremely dark thriller is character driven by Cab's disillusionment. Ironically it is easier to understand Stillman in spite of his irrational moments than it is the numbed indifferent Cab. Though not fast-paced, Ephemera is a thought provoking tale as readers will see the outcome of the Reagan legacy is the Eisenhower warning to beware of the government industrial military complex. To conceal reality, politicians use the mantra of Ephemera to assume the brain numbed public will quickly forget the hypocrisy and lies.