Getting Back

William Dietrich, Author
William Dietrich, Author Grand Central Publishing $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-446-52457-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 420 pages - 978-0-446-60974-6
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-7595-6240-0
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 384 pages - 978-0-7595-9272-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-4243-3
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It's the late 21st century and all's right with the world, which is exactly what's driving Daniel Dyson nuts. Unemployment, hunger, war, are all in the past since mass privatization has revolutionized the quality of life and the entire planet is now run by the ultra-efficient United Corporations, a single entity with a name that speaks for itself. Dyson loathes his drone-filled office in the Pacific Northwest, and the feeling is mutual. He resorts to small acts of sabotage for minor thrills until he encounters beautiful and dangerous Raven, who tells him about Outback Adventure--an updated Outward Bound. The program drops city dwellers into an Australia recently depopulated by a bio-engineered plague, where they begin a survival trek to a pick-up spot on the coast. Dyson meets other malcontents during the brief training period and joins a trio of quirky misfits who are all seeking freedom and adventure. What they don't know is that Australia is actually a penal colony without jails, a la Escape from New York. Prisoners and the problem-citizen ""tourists"" are drugged, abandoned in different areas and left to fend for themselves. Dietrich (Ice Reich) pits the new arrivals against the criminals in a battle of wits that highlights the joys of discovery and the zest for life that wilderness can inspire. The novel's centerpiece is a terrific battle, with Dyson and his group defending an abandoned skyscraper against the onslaught of a prisoner-rigged siege tower, using desks and files as projectiles and auto parts as armor. Eluding Big Brother to return to the wild may be a familiar theme, but Dietrich's campy cinematic treatment makes it fresh again. Major ad/promo. (Jan.)
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