The Last Supper

Allison M. Dickson. Hobbes End (www.hobbes-
endpublishing.com), $10.99 trade paper (369p) ISBN 978-0-9859110-5-8
Tragedy and triumph charge this story set in a weed-infested, mutated future full of provocative paradoxes of amorality and faith. “My last meal has a salad. I’ve always hated salad,” recounts tortured hero John Welland at the beginning of his memoir of a life spent battling and dodging sentient superweeds, the land-savaging Blight, and the Divine Right, religious zealots who ensure obedience through terror. After Welland’s wife fails her yearly “exam,” a justification for further life, and eats her poisoned last supper, “white hot rage” propels Welland to join an underground rebellion. They introduce him to the Elan Vital, the life force, and soon he discovers a personal connection to it. Marrying speculative, realistic, and fabulist traditions to dystopian formula, Dickson’s paean to individualism both breaks and strengthens the heart. Welland’s character receives “no comfort as he comes face to face with his own tragedy.” The Kafkaesque world of warped normalcy and cruel politics brings intimacy to the classic theme of self-definition in the face of oppression. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/2014
Genre: Fiction
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