- File Size: 691 KB
- Print Length: 209 pages
- Publisher: Round Bend Press (February 22, 2012)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007D4RJ7S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,007,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Sodom, Gomorrah, and Jones Kindle Edition
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Later in the story, we realize that much about his life has already eluded the good professor just as the same thought seems to be occurring to him.
I read the story almost at one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.
SODOM is a very political novel. In fact, its politics are so integral to its plot that it's impossible to separate them. CJ believes the Kennedy assassination was a "political coup d'etat," that what happened to the American Indians was genocide, that our refusal to address global warming is a betrayal of the Earth, and that modern young people are more interested in "hooking up" than they are in changing the world. Some of the chapters in SODOM are dedicated to what Deemer calls "CJ's Heavy Reading," quoting passages from very real books written by very real people. For example, there's this from political activist Mary Ellen Lease: "Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street." The shocking thing, of course, is that Lease's words sound so much like the Occupy Wall Street movement that it's hard to believe she said them in 1890.
I've got to state up front that my own political beliefs fall pretty closely in line with CJ's. I'm a big Weavers fan, too - along with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Phil Ochs - and there were times during my reading of SODOM that I heard my husband's words coming from CJ's mouth. I loved CJ's story, including his odd relationship with a friend's granddaughter (somehow, they connect with each other as soul mates), and his memories of his wife, Helen, who died a few years before the start of the novel. I loved CJ's refusal to embrace the "modern era" (he resists computers, cell phones, and the Internet for decades), but I also loved his eventual decision to cast his Luddite-status to the winds and write a blog! I understood the guy. He made sense to me.
That said, I'm not sure how this novel would work for a reader with a different political perspective, and a different world-view. Rush Limbaugh would have a hissy fit!
At its core, SODOM is about CJ's journey to the realization that "the world can't be fixed," and maybe "he wasn't supposed to change the world. He was supposed to live in it." That's a pretty big message, one worthy of Thoreau. Deemer offers a hope that perhaps living in the world, focusing not on its evils but on its wonders, may eventually cause a little part of the evil to die - if we're "not around feeding it anymore."
SODOM, GOMORRAH & JONES is a unique and original look at the world we live in from the perspective of someone who has done a lot of living. What's happened to the world in the last century is sad; the American Dream used to be about having a family, a house, a car, and a comfortable life without worry and stress. Now it's about getting rich, and then getting richer. And to hell with anyone or anything that gets in our way. If this speaks to you, so will this novel. I recommend it to those with an open mind, a progressive spirit, and a lust for life. I still have a few years left before I'm 75 (not as many as I'd like, but enough!), and I hope when I get there I can find half the joy CJ finds.
[Please note: I was provided a copy of this novel for review; the opinions expressed here are my own.]