Well, as much as I tried to pace myself– I simply couldn’t help but spend the evening finishing this novel. I am glad I did. I was in no rush, and the last 107 pages kept me company on a quiet Monday.
I won’t go into all the details but here are some of the major findings from the last chunk of this book:
In the novel, RFK & MLK are running makes for president & VP. They win the election but RFK gets assassinated during the inauguration. Most people think the Black Panthers did this on purpose to get MLK in as president.
At this junction– the military is pissed about Vietnam, the Black Panthers start calling themselves the King’s Men and essentially take over the US military, and there are missiles being fired at several different major cities because of terrorism, riots, etc. There is no TV, papers, radio– only from Canada and Mexico.
Ultimately, the UN takes over the government, Denver becomes the capital, and MLK becomes the interim Administrator.
Clay had burned his poems earlier in the novel, but got xeroxes of them from an old friend. They, along with all his mother’s letters and a wad of cash EmCee’s father had given him to give to her, get burned when the bus he had been sleeping in catches on fire. What’s remarkable is that Clay didn’t really seem to be bothered by this loss.
Clay’s mom dies and he goes back to home base to put her in the ground. He had written his mother a letter she never opened.
Where Clay was living in the dome– Please has her baby Pei, EmCee returns from the dead, and then rioters try to take over the dome– which results in gunfire from both sides and ultimately the King’s Men coming in by helicopter and rescuing Roads who had been injured.
While this novel is historical in nature, the changes in historical events made this novel very interesting to think about, especially considering the current state of affairs. I must admit, there are a number of ‘loose ends’ and plots that are never tied up, but who cares. I liked the ending well enough, though it felt easy if I’m being completely honest (no, he doesn’t get back with EmCee– I had figured she was alive, but relieved they didn’t rekindle because it would have felt too ridiculous given the circumstances). I enjoyed the writing style Bisson offers and would definitely recommend this fun and interesting, politically charged read.
Overall rating: 4/5
Total pages to date: 311