2045: A Story of Our Future

As a general rule, I don't read much fiction.

However, I have a weakness for post-apocalyptic, sci-fi dystopian pieces. Think Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) and Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). Confessional sidebar: I'm a much bigger fan of the film Blade Runner (which is, of course, based on Androids) than I am of the book. Both succeed, however, in firing the cylinders of the brain and sparking imagination.

2045: A Story of Our Future has a Rip Van Winkle element in that its main character, Carl Lauer, wakes up from a coma in the year 2045. He slipped into his deep sleep in 2010 as the result of a vaccine that had not been tested properly. Much has happened in the past 35 years: global warming pummeling the environment, globalization wreaking havoc on the economy (Carl lost his family business during the years he slept), technological innovations galore.

The fame Carl garnered for his novelty propels him to a tropical isle that's flush with plush. The island is run by one of the eight mega-conglomerates that owns practically everything in the world. (Definite, overt themes of be careful if we continue on the business-as-god course.) Carl's charge is to market and promote a soft drink. In exchange for being used by his college buddy who sits near the top of the company's hierarchy, Carl gets access to anything money can buy. The trouble is, Carl's conscience takes over because oh-so-few people in the future live above the poverty line. Also, he knows the good life is not for him after making an horrific discovery.

The author, Peter Seidel, is an environmental architect, who does a nice job of blending plausible, modern-day trends and circumstances into a thoroughly believable -- if not conspiratorial -- plot.

As with all entries by me, Oskar, I focus on reviewing only material that is not on the shelves at DPL. Thanks to the your-tax-dollars-at-work concept, DPL can procure almost anything for you via Interlibrary Loan. What a beautiful thing. I entreat you to take advantage of it.

Written by Oskar on September 21, 2011

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