BOOK REVIEW: Invasion by Luke Rhinehart
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
In 1971 Luke Rhinehart wrote the anarchic, disturbing The Dice Man, the story of a psychiatrist who surrenders every decision of his life to the roll of a dice. It was confronting and raised many serious philosophical questions about society and then modern life and social mores, whilst also making it clear that complete anarchy and randomness is a one-way trip to disaster.
Fast forward to 2016, and his Invasion runs a sword through the heart of capitalism and Western Society, skewering politics, big business and – again – raising serious questions about modern life and social mores.
Told mostly from the perspective of Billy Morton, a fisherman in his sixties with a Hispanic lawyer wife and two smart kids, Invasion tells the story of an alien invasion from another dimension: hyper-intelligent furry beach ball-like creatures who, with a little practice, can morph into any shape they want, and who have invaded Earth not to conquer us, but to remind us how to have fun.
Government agencies and corporate bodies are horrified, the military want to nuke ‘em, and most humans – conditioned by the authority’s propaganda and too many B-movies – are suspicious of such downright ‘un-American’ behaviour.
Rhinehart is at his best when turning his satire on the establishment and showing the system we all live in to be as fundamentally flawed as it is. He cleverly avoids pointing fingers and saying, ‘this is bad, fix it,’ instead offering – in the voice of Louie, Moliere, Gibberish and the other aliens – some sensible and practical ways to turn things around, to distribute wealth more evenly for the betterment of all stratas of society, and to rewrite the horrible, self-perpetuating establishment of greed currently empowered over us all, which spreads death and pain and poverty so the 5% or less can gain.
It’s pure truth, of course – but also a pipe dream. Sadly that 5% have the money, power and establishment to ensure that true change will not ever happen – at least not in our lifetime. Maybe a benevolent invasion is the only thing that could save the human race from itself?
Invasion is a fast-paced read well worth investing in – especially if you need your eyes opened to the truth of our society.
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