Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs

D.D. Johnston. AK Press, $13.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-84935-061-7
In Johnston's rambling debut novel, young Scottish revolutionaries come to terms with themselves and the world around them. The second title in a new fiction series from anarchist publisher AK Press, Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs moves at a random pace, bouncing between countries, characters, and years. Set in the heady days of the early anti-globalization movement and revolving around a motley group of friends working at a Benny's Burgers franchise in fictional Dundule, Scotland, the book is billed as a "modern working-class novel." As a labor conflict at the restaurant scatters narrator Wayne Foster and his comrades around the world, relationships crumble, the war on terror rages, and the anti-capitalist movement stutters. Johnston's under-developed characters flit from having cheap sex to staging hunger strikes, but at least Wayne—despite severe feelings of disillusionment and loss—proves charming in a book filled with unlikeable characters. Though Johnson demonstrates the strength of his descriptive prose, some chapters seemed more like short stories unto themselves, rather than key elements in the novel's evolution. Readers also will need to become accustomed to the Scottish dialect Johnston uses, in which "ken" means "know" and "dinae" means "don't." (June)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-84935-062-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7811-3
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