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J A Erwine

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Category: 

Science Fiction

Publisher:  Nomadic Delirium Press ISBN-10:  1419625888 Type: 
Pages: 

158

Copyright:  Feb 1, 2007
Fiction

The United States has fallen to the Grand Patriarchs, a group of religious zealots intent on bending America to their will, but not everyone is content to be a herd animal...some are willing to risk their lives to make a change, and one man won't have a choice.

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When a comet nearly hits the Earth, many on the little planet decide that it was an act of God that has saved them. The religious fervor brought on by the ascension of the Grand Patriarchs leads to a society without freedoms.
One man, Edward Silverberg, a former professor, finds himself caught in a life he never could have expected. His wife is slowly beginning to convert to the Fundamentalist Christian religion of the Grand Patriarchs, while he still tries to hold onto his Jewish heritage. The problem for Edward is that he was never a man of action...until action was forced upon him.
Warning contains some adult scenes that some readers might find disturbing.        




Professional Reviews

The Opium of the People
"The Opium of the People" is a realistic albeit horrifying example of what the world would be like if the government were overthrown, and authority were assumed by religious zealots. The book itself is an incredible story, yet left me feeling disgusted and mortified, similar to the way I felt after reading Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaids Tale." While the stories really don't have much in common, they evoked similar feelings from me.

"The Opium of the People" also reminded me of the "Left Behind" series...If you've never read any of those books, they are marketed (and rightly so) as Christian Literature, and detail the Apolcolypse, and the world of aftermath. This story reminded me of the series in that it detailed an equally unforgiving and cruel world, left in the hands of the faithfully religious who were carrying out the work of God. "The Opium of the People" though, is much less preachy, and focuses much less on the religion aspect than it does on the characters who are trying to survive.

The story alternates perspectives; from members of an underground revolutionist movement, to former literary scholars who have a hard time accepting this new way of life, to the actual religious leaders in charge. Through the alternating perspectives the reader is given the opportunity to understand the story from multiple angles, which leaves little hope of not getting drawn in.

It's a fairly quick read, not much over a hundred pages, but its a hundred intense pages that really will make you ponder the what ifs. My only complaint was the ending, which seemed abrupt and somewhat rushed; without giving it away, I wasn't satisfied with the resolution of two of the characters...though in the author's defense, he did the right thing...going into anymore detail really would have been wandering from the focus of the story.

If you're looking for something different to read or if you like politics vs. religion, snag yourself a copy of this book...you'll enjoy it.





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Reader Reviews for "The Opium of the People"

Reviewed by Bogdan Tiganov 7/24/2003
I liked the preview - good style - interesting cool story.
Reviewed by Lincoln Bruce 6/22/2001


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