Scorch BOOK review [A.D. Nauman]

Book Reviews
Scorch BOOK review [A.D. Nauman]
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May 10, 2001, 03:53

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SCORCH by A.D. Nauman; Soft Skull Press, 2001

Scorch is a dystopian novel set 30 years in the future. A totalitarian “corporacracy”––composed of three mega-conglomerates––rules every aspect of life, and consumerism is promoted as the route to happiness. People who buy the right products triumph as Horatio Alger once did––against all odds.

Arel Ashe, a 30-ish female, works two jobs to afford her tiny Chicago apartment. By day, she works as a junior assistant in an Adstory Department, which produces movies that exist exclusively to sell products through the use of sex and violence. At night, she works as a library clerk. In Arel's world, libraries don't carry books anymore, but videos. But when she discovers real books, like The History of Labor, Arel is inspired to rebel and save the world.

Fans of dystopian fiction will certainly recognize Nauman's theft from her literary predecessors like Orwell, Huxley, and Bradbury. Unfortunately, Nauman tells more than she shows, and the book suffers from that, and her narrow Marxist agenda, pedantry and simplistic fictional world.

-Trinity Canty

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