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The Noah Option Paperback – May 27, 2011
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From the Back Cover
A brilliant beautiful scientist and a software genius race against insidious opponents trying to destroy the revolutionary crop seeds which can feed the world. A corrupt government entraps them in a web of deceit. But resistance is growing on a new internet domain: .ARK.
* Why are "coyotes" smuggling Americans out of the country?
* What does the crudely scrawled graffiti 2 X 2 mean?
* What is the secret hidden in plain sight?
Connect the dots. They lead to . . . The Noah Option.
About the Author
The Noah Option is Michael McCarthy's first novel. As a young man, he learned about the founding principles of America aboard the 157' sailing schooner Te'Vega, a private school ship. In this thriller, he shows how two brilliant inventors struggle for survival when the government controls everything. He is now at work on the sequel, THE RAINBOW OPTION. For excerpts from The Rainbow Option, go to www.TheNoahOption.com
Top customer reviews
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It's a thought provoking book and unlike Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" it is readable and has sympathetic characters. You care what happens to them. They are not selfish monoliths; they are caring folks who just want to be left alone to produce a better standard of living for their fellow humans by creating better agricultural products.
Buy it. Read it. You will be glad you did.
Beginning with the end, and no, I'm not giving away a thing, I was sort of shaking my head by then. And immediately following were a few pages from the coming sequel. In that teaser we're suddenly supposed to believe that tomato seeds planted in the woods in April magically have ripe, ready-to-pick tomatoes on them exactly 56 days later. For non-gardeners, let me assure you that it takes twice that long, minimum, from seed to tomato. If those were some of Dr. Grace's fast-growing genetically modified seeds (and by the way, GM food is not popular or well accepted), I guess it might have worked, but no claim is made that they are, and we already know they can't be after all such seeds in America were destroyed. Mr. McCarthy might want to do some research on normal seeds - perhaps read the seed packets in a garden store. That hit me in the eye as being so ridiculously impossible, it had the effect of many similarly unrealistic bits in the book washing over me all at once, and I won't bother to read the sequel.
Working back in this book, there were a lot of problems, but I'll only mention these: The long video taped speeches repeatedly given by Grace and/or Isaiah in various locations and at impromptu times are really a stretch, and had the effect of making it obvious that it wanted to be a baby Atlas Shrugged (but with "Soul"), as the author tried making miniature John Galts out of them with the speeches. I don't mind speeches in a believable context; these were not.
Another: there is one very grisly scene (in a book relatively free of those) after the kidnapping of the college president, in his being shown something going on that had to have been in place for a long time, not just recently started, that was also simply not believable, totally unnecessary, and way too much of a stretch.
Lastly and most glaringly to me: we are asked to believe that millions of Americans, in a very short time, are rounded up by the totalitarian government and interred in various work camps, etc. like so many docile sheep, without a single one of them possessing a gun or otherwise fighting this. Not one episode of resistance (except for the college president later on), not one shot fired, in fact, no mention of guns at all, and this is crazy. Since a very few "good guys" did have firearms, though they didn't use them, the country had not been disarmed. Guns were not illegal and had not been confiscated (may it please stay that way). So this glaring omission of any resistance at all strikes a very false chord and seems to be an attempt to completely ignore the subject of guns and the good Americans who would use them for protection in those circumstances. It doesn't work to ignore that.
One more thing: All of the main characters are black, as well as all of the "good guys", the supporting cast of decent and nice people. It's made abundantly clear. All of the "bad guys", the government nasties and the vermin, are white and this was also made clear with descriptions, mentions of "blond hair", etc. You couldn't miss it, and it was really getting old by the end. The author is certainly entitled to create his characters as he wishes, but the subliminal effect was there, and I doubt I'm the only reader who noticed it.
If he was trying to create a black Atlas Shrugged with faith in God added, it may have had that slight effect had it not been in such an amateur way. Having primed the reader to expect disappearances, relocations and escapes of people who worked and produced, he just didn't get around to it until near the end. So possibly that's what the coming sequel is for. As I already said, I won't bother with it.
This is a story of successful people whose work challenges the the control of a world turned increasingly dystopian by a government that is not simply too large, but also completely disconnected and deluded by political correctness run amok: a world where people must starve to control population growth; a world where the threat posed by those who hold the answers to many of humanity's greatest challenges must be suppressed or eliminated so that those in control can maintain power.
The author eschews any subtlety in his portrayal of the characters to ensure we understand their motivation. The creators of the Noah Option are not only skilled scientists and business people but also warm, loving human beings with a variety of useful life skills (martial arts anyone?). The collection of antagonists are lampooned to the extreme down to the silly names they are given. This, along with the simple writing style the author uses, makes it clear that the story was meant for an audience increasingly unaware of how complex and dysfunctional most (if not all) world governments have become. It is certainly a paradox that the fast-moving plot will certainly seem less strange to those who study the actions of governments than it will to those who spend time watching reality shows.
Part parable, part morality play, this novel is all thought-provoking.