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Smashwords book reviews by Colleen Kitchen
- Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America
on Dec. 04, 2012
Written by a genuine Kansan, this book projects what might happen if the religious right were to ever seize power in these United States. It bears a striking resemblance to A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (no relation as far as I know) wherein privacy, separation of church and state, and liberty become a thing of the past. Pastors have all the power and money, the regular people are afraid to say openly what they think, people are spied on via their "spiritual advisors," and of course women are nothing but chattels.
The book tracks the stories of several misfits: a nonwhite person of uncertain race, (but doesn't matter, because in the new Christianoid America only white people "count",) a Catholic (the new order grudgingly tolerates the Catholics for their knowledge) a tortured gay guy, and a women who is conveniently labelled as a whore so that she may be easily disposed of. They all start to follow a 12-year old prophet named Bobby, who seems to be trying to move people away from hate and fear and back to true Christianity -- a huge threat to the power structure.
The book cuts back to scenes of the power hungry reverends as they hear about the Bobby threat and pool their collective intelligence (maybe about half a watt) to try to eliminate him. You get a glimpse of how monstrously over the top evil and hypocritical they are.
I won't spoil it by giving away the climax, but let's just say there are a number of parallels in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
My one quarrel is that some of the characters could have been better developed. The Bobbites are the best developed characters in the book. Bobby himself is a bit of an enigma: we only see him from a distance and through hearsay. Perhaps that is by design. I couldn't keep track of which evil white man was which because they were all the same. And non wife women were just bodies with boobs on them for the horny reverends to enjoy whenever they felt.....um... what was the word, "stressed."
Apart from that minor quibble, it's a good read.