Monday, April 30, 2012

High Art

The Great Peace, or, Get with the Pogrom by Ryan George Kittleman (Timbre & Yarn LLC, 2012, 322pp.)

The Great Peace is what 1984 would look like if Big Brother was a talentless art hack. In this case, Big Brother is Polo Younger, a peculiar, mask-wearing, sweatpants-clad Napoleon who swore vengeance after being rejected from numerous art schools. Since he took over the City Arts Commission, he’s decided to have art production strictly regulated. He’s also had all the classical art museum destroyed. Many despise him, many struggle against him, but only Rufus Wiggin, his high school nemesis, has a chance at overthrowing his reign of bad art.

The Great Peace is a quirky and entertaining story. My only complaint is directed at a section where Rufus and Polo have a lengthy debate about the purpose of art in society, and function as obvious mouthpieces for the author’s views. Because of its surrealist quality, I wouldn’t recommend it for the casual reader, but rather for fans of satirical or absurdist fiction.

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