Off the Grid: The Catalyst is a verycleverly written and well thought out piece of work. It tells the story of themysterious Pan, an incredibly intuitive, insightful yet cynical and paranoidguy. Pan has spent his whole life challenging the authority of those thatsociety accept to be looking out for them for example the police, thegovernment and mainstream religion, Pan however, sees hypocrisy, greed and theloss of free will. As the world seems to be descending into chaos, thegovernment uses the increased social anxiety and instability to maximisesecurity throughout the country using a device they called Lifeline. What mostothers seem to think as the greatest government initiative and the start to asafe new world, Pan sees as the end of all free will, free thought and freedomand hence the need to go Off the Grid. Welcome to Pan's world, a world ofcontroversy, intrigue, lust and profuse amounts of alcohol- what is soterrifying is that this world does not see all too alien and dissimilar to ourown, thus making you question what changes we will see in our own society inthe upcoming future. (Amy Vincent, Book Lover, Student; U.K)
From the Inside Flap
Pan's life is one of the virtues of the flesh: sex,drugs, and rock n' roll as it were. Throughout his youth, he struggled withauthority, with religion, and with the ideas the society attempted to jam downhis throat. As he grows, he drowns his disenchantment with the world and withexistence in any vice he can find, be it women or drugs. As a desolate Panexplores his memories and lives through some trying experiences, the readerscome along for the ride, examining each seemingly disconnected moment thatcreated Pan's life as well as the turbulent future Pan is living now. Whileeach moment is poignant with imagery and smacks of desperation, there is also asense of rebellion against "the man" and of breaking out of the watchful eye ofThe Institution. Even the reader isn't let in on the plan for Pan, and as youstruggle to piece together the identity of this mysterious, neurotic,narcissistic, and possibly deranged man, the plot only grows thicker and moretwisted. From murdered friends to out of control cartels, there is so much morepacked into this book than most. With seemingly endless stories wrapped arounda central idea, there's something for everyone with Off the Grid.
Brian Courtney has a very descriptive andilluminating style to his writing that seems to focus on all aspects of thefive senses. We get a chance to join Pan in a dimly lit, piss-smelling, andpeanut-strewn bar a time or two, vast stretches of wilderness, and violentissues with abusive cops or arrogant agents of The Institution. Scenes aren'tjust what Pan sees, they are what he hears, tastes, smells and touches. Increating these vivid images, the author succeeds in taking us to locations bothvile and divine, resulting in a very active and emotional reading experience.You can practically taste or hear the events happening, although you may notwant to.
Reading Offthe Grid: Catalyst was like sleep-walking through someone else's dreams,possibly their nightmares. It was surreal and visual, without being too wordyor muddled up about the "whys" and the "hows" of a convoluted plot. It was justa straightforward look into a strange man's mind and dealt with issues likepower struggles, violence, and authoritarian control. It was also one of themost intriguing books I have read of late. It's incredible uniqueness stem notonly from the writing style that Courtney chose to employ, but the issues itattempts to examine. I'm not sure if this will be part of a series or not, butit was certainly intriguing enough to hope for more. Catalyst is an excellentsubtitle for this one, because all the events incite a violent flurry of actionfrom Pan and from all the dangerous foes he faces. Definitely a worthwhile readfor those who think differently, have an intelligent and racing mind, or justenjoy a book with amazing visuals! (Unabridged Andra,Book Worm and Book Blogger)