Richard L. Becker
© Copyright 2015. Richard L. Becker
All Rights Reserved.
Another February heat-wave assaults the Northeast. Much of the Midwest remains quarantined due to The Event, which precipitated a war between alien dragons and America. The Government continues to subsidize the construction of exclusive neighborhoods near Forward Operating Bases as the space platform nears completion. So many priorities in our country, Mirabel Goldman thinks. But when are they going to find out who murdered my dogs?
Taylor, a beautiful cat-like woman, meets Mirabel and others after moving into The Neighborhood where her best friend lives. Taylor can alter reality to benefit herself and others, but for every action there is an unintended, equal and opposite reaction. Normally she’s not concerned about such consequences, but when Taylor saves a young boy she inadvertently kills her best friend’s son, forcing her to confront the cruel nature of her power.
That power also prevents men from falling in love with her in this world. What reality would Taylor be willing to create to be the object of such desires? What consequences would she accept to attain it?
Over the course of a few months, as Taylor seeks love and forgiveness she finds herself embroiled in mass suicides, the proper training and punishment of slaves, an attempted takeover of The Government and its military by those guided by higher powers, a broadcast studio that may or may not lead to Some Other Place, conspiracy theorists on the trail of assassins, a pretentious novelist actually cut in half [vertically], a dream-like boy who may offer her the love she desperately seeks, and an uprising involving humanely raised meat and expensive coffee shops.
Oh, there’s also a physics professor writing a series of children’s books that unintentionally trigger severe anxiety, a BYOB block party, and a National Security Adviser who wants to kill her.
Such troubles. Taylor just longs for peace, love and understanding. She should have moved into a different neighborhood.
In The Neighborhood, Taylor confronts the issues of the 21st century [that she’d rather avoid] in a story of wit, charm, and dark comedy bordering on the absurd – but isn’t that the world in which we live? The novel is geared towards people who enjoy the work of Thomas Pynchon [or who would if his work was less perplexing and dense] as well as readers of mainstream fiction. It’s written in a very readable style with a fast moving plot. Although the novel features multiple characters and story lines, the constant intersecting of both allows a reader to easily and happily follow along.
If you are looking for outrageous fun, there’s a place for you in The Neighborhood.