NSA, by Benny Neylon, Reviewed.

NSA cover

This is satirical, dystopian science fiction taking a brutal swipe at the media, politicians, conspiracy theorists, security experts and the military. All of it richly deserved.

The writing is good, characterisation is thorough, creating archetypes rather than indulging in stereotypes as is so often the case with books of this type. The humour is hard, bordering on the cruel. But, as such exposure and comment is necessary, it is certainly not out of place here.

For me, and this is a very personal issue, the many references to things exclusively American were a barrier. But I know this won’t be the case for the majority of readers, so I place it here simply to put my review in context.

Written in the style of a thriller, with fast action and multiple twists and turns, the convoluted story ranges over many incidents and touches on topics that most readers will appreciate. No one escapes here. All those who deserve our disapprobation are roundly condemned by their actions, distortions of truth, expedient manoeuvres and total disregard for reality. Vanity describes the leading politicians and, bearing in mind the current incumbent of the White House, this book is extraordinarily prescient.

There is a protagonist to carry readers through the melange of antagonists who carry most of the action, and she has a trusty side kick; both provide a hint of sanity in a world gone utterly insane.

I found the tale a touch lengthy and felt it could lose a quarter of the content and gain pace and holding power as a result.

But this is a well-written, brilliantly observed and cleverly depicted potential future for the world as it currently exists. Without substantial, even radical, change, we may well be doomed to experience the outcome described so potently in these pages.

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