The government of England is one of appeasement. Furigans, misfits who thrive on violence and anarchy are deemed not responsible for their criminal behavior because of being disadvantage and marginalize. Indeed, to condemn them is to commit an act of Nastiness, be harried by Compassion Stewards, and come under the scrutiny from the Commission for Fairness. All parties adhere to this Political Consensus. Debate is empty and meaningless.
Roger Tyson, a business magnate, is a solitary voice calling for a return to truth, justice, freedom of speech, and an end to mandated Niceness. He’s being vilified for it until his dire predictions of economic collapse begin to manifest.
But are Roger’s tough-love politics and bare-knuckle tactics enough to save England from the shadowy Muhonin who are preparing to violently overthrow the decaying, corrupt government and reinvent this Green and Pleasant Land by imposing their own violent and radical ideology?
Steve Shahbazian’s novel, Green and Pleasant Land, is cleverly conceived and well-considered dystopian fiction similar to George Orwell’s classic in that the government seeks to gain consensus not through violence but by influencing the cultural milieus of the masses. If you disagree with the policies of the government of the day they don’t make you disappear, they use their unwitting operatives to shame you into silence.
However, the strength of this novel is also its weakness. Replete with political machinations and characters launching into philosophical diatribes it is dense, plodding and much of the dialogue is didactic. Real action, the exciting kind that builds tension is scarce, and similar scenarios of debate, discussion, and ultimately indecision, are presented again and again with little or no consequences.
Well-developed characterization is also lacking with the host of characters only defined by their political affiliations.
The author has also chosen to use Japanese greetings and political terminology throughout the story. Perhaps it is a metaphor to indicate how far the birthplace of the Parliamentary system has drifted from its roots. If so, it’s an unnecessary impediment.
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