I recently finished “The Product” a novella by Marina Fontaine.
This story would be an excellent choice for High School English classes throughout the country, as a counterpoint to the almost universal pushing of “progressive” ideals through what some might term “literature.”
This is real literature, in the mold of George Orwell. One can only hope a majority of parents have become exasperated enough with the public schools to search out books like this on their own, and then make their kids aware of them.
Below is my review.
The Product is a grim look at human beings living in a totalitarian wasteland. Though the setting is urban, the images and ideas this novella evoked put me in mind of a sunless, dark and oppressive desert, where most people have become cruel and inhuman robots, like Stepford Wives with an added dash of indoctrination-fueled mob-like mentality.
But humans weren’t created to be oppressed, and that’s where the product comes in. The dealers of the product are the subjects of this novella. It begins with the main character, Kevin, running to escape his oppressors. Without giving spoilers its difficult to explain in a review what exactly “The Product” is. Suffice to say that in this gray and dark environment, beams of light, color, action and sound find their way to those whose hearts tell them that things aren’t meant to be the way they are.
These young humans, whose only notion of the way we live today comes from illegal stories handed down through untold generations, either stay in the gray, or fight their way to something better, through great danger & loyalty to their friends and trusted mentors.
Though darker than Fontaine’s debut novel, Chasing Freedom, The Product is similar. It is the same tale in a vastly different time and setting–the story of humanity’s yearning and fight to be free.
Above is my system for rating books. The Product rated 5 stars.
The Product did not make me laugh even once, but it did make me cry.
It also was well written, and while the plot and story seemed mysterious at times, it all came together in this fine book. I got lost in the world of The Product…but I was glad I could find my way out.
The questions it raised lingered, making me wonder how and why some people seem hell-bent on subjugating others, up to and including brainwashing and even, in some cases, death.
Such people are on the rise. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see it. Whether America can break free of the movement that would ultimately lead to scenarios similar to that of Fontaine’s novella remains to be seen.
Marina Fontaine is an author, blogger, book reviewer, and co-creator of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance, a counter-cultural group for writers, artists and others of a creative bent.
Related Post: Book Review ~ Chasing Freedom by Marina Fontaine