"A Riveting, Entertaining Read
Publicani is not a book to pick up lightly. It is a riveting page turner that could, if it affects you like it affected me, capture your attention, at the cost of sleep and reprioritization of your work day.
It's a story with strong characters and a fascinating plot that spans the globe with politics, intrigue, a bit of science fiction and a bit of kabbalistic mysticism that are all woven together into a credible novel that at the end is compelling and satisfying.
As a reviewer, this was a pleasant surprise, when so many political novels are more lecture than good story, how well told this was."
~ Rob Kall, OpEdNews.com, Publisher
......................."An appropriate read for our current events
In short: I really enjoyed this book. The theme centers around the universal struggle for freedom and liberty in a post-modern world where the term "thought police" has gone from metaphor to an actual existence in the form of a government agency. Like all government agencies it has an innocent sounding name and a purpose that aims to improve the "common good." Following a scientific breakthrough allowing the physical transfer of intelligence between people, the government has decided that certain individuals with "brains to spare" are to become "volunteer" donors to such important members of society as politicians, military leaders, ambassadors, and select researchers. This is all for the good of the nation of course, but it has some severe consequences for the donor, especially if they don't comply.
You see, as with all "voluntary" government programs, if you dare to not cooperate, you suffer the consequences. "Publicani" takes us through this scenario time and again through the eyes of many characters who are the enforcers and the enforcees... and sometimes both. This book manages to play this scenario out while engaging in many intentional parallels with the current politics of the day, and I think this is why it was so enjoyable to me. The underlying theme throughout is simply this: If one of us can be enslaved, then we are all slaves. For this theme alone this book is worth reading, but the story is very interesting without being overly wordy. I finished the book in about three hours and I think it was time well spent.
Finally, I think this book offers some perspective to those of us who don't really see the significance of what is happening in the United States today. In the book an extreme circumstance is at hand: the government forcibly ravages your brain. However, is that not indirectly what the government is doing now? If you are a very successful, highly educated businessman who deals in Intellectual Property, you are punished by this government as being an "evil, greedy, rich" person. With this justification, the government promptly taxes you at every turn: the highest income tax rate, capital gains taxes on your investments, property taxes on your car and house, sales taxes at the local and state level, energy taxes on your electricity and gas, the list goes on and on until you die and they then take half of what you had left!
So in the end, the fruits of your intelligence are taken from you. In Publicani, they just go straight to the source. In real life, we're almost there.
~ Thomas Utley (South Carolina, USA)
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