End Times: More Great Adventures in Real America
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (7/19)
“End Times: More Great Adventures in Real America” by Michael McCord is the second book in his Real America Saga, a political satire set in the not-to-distant future that hits distressingly close to home.
America is now divided into two separate countries – Old USA and Real America. Real America is ruled by Real America, Inc., led by Lawrence Bowie, self-appointed Emperor Supreme for Life. Gone is the independence enjoyed by American citizens through freedom of speech, elections and democracy – replaced with, among other things, the return of free-labor (slavery), the dissolution of women’s reproductive rights and public education. Bowie is not too bright but somehow he seems to rise against all odds. He doesn’t even waste his time pretending to tell the truth. In fact, he relishes the fact that his supporters follow him blindly, no matter what he says or does, as long as it’s against the “moocher-taker-liberal-feminist-elitist traitors.” Sound familiar?
With a cast of characters that range from conservative white-collar-fanatics to mob-like gangster thugs, to a resistance group led by a psychic, this story will have readers biting their knuckles, banging their heads against walls, laughing out loud and crying like a baby. McCord’s story begs the question, “Has America lost its mind?”
Wow. So, this is the most fun I’ve had with a book in a long time. Even as I write this though, I’m haunted by the fiction that touches so close to reality. I’m trying to write this in generalities because I don’t want to give away too much of the story – you’re seriously just going to have to read the book.
The characters are phenomenal – readers will have an intense reaction to each of them one way or the other – it’s either love or hate folks, there is no margin. I do have a few favorites – one being Mama Bowie (who thinks her son is an idiot and joins the resistance), and the other is Penelope, the psychic chosen to lead the resistance.
The writing is superb, the humor sadistic, and the plotline bizarre. Back when life as we knew it hadn’t yet taken a nose-dive into the ranks of insanity, one might think this story too far-fetched to be considered anything but dystopian fiction. But reading it today one has to scratch their head and wonder, “How is this even possible?”
For those that didn’t catch “The Execution Channel,” the first book in the saga, “End Times” has a few references: Setting the Stage and End Times Cast Crew & Glossary that will bring readers up to speed on the key players and terms. I was late to the party and started with “End Times,” but I found it to be a complete stand-alone novel. I am curious to learn more about how these characters came to be however and hope to catch “The Execution Channel” at some point soon. What I find most terrifying about McCord’s books is that he started writing this saga well before the absurd reality that is our world today. That’s some kind of insight.
“End Times: More Great Adventures in Real America” by Michael McCord is not a book for everyone – there is a certain group that just won’t be able to see or appreciate the irony. I’m delighted to say however, that I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to the final book in the saga, “Penelope.”