Anarchy And Other Lies by Jesse Mckinnell

Anarchy and Other Lies

“Sam takes her book out from her pack and begins flipping through the pages. ‘It is better to live on your knees than die on your feet – Emiliano Zapata,’ she recites defiantly to the towering phantom. I don’t know if she got the quote backward on purpose. In any case, it makes more sense to me this way.”

With poverty at an all-time high and food rations at an all-time low, the future imagined in ANARCHY AND OTHER LIES (Montag Press, November 2020, 978-1-940233-82-6, $15.95, Original Trade Paperback) by Jesse McKinnell is a bleak one. Jake begins his story in a comfortable place, working his modest office job as a silverware designer, but his life is suddenly upheaved by the layoff of his entire department. Newly unemployed and facing the same fate as millions of others who have wound up homeless in his city, Jake finds himself wandering the streets in a dazed state until he strolls near a familiar landmark- an old, condemned bridge over a toxic river. In the second upheaval of the day, the bridge collapses in an explosive terrorist attack. It is the first, but certainly not the last, bombastic attack he will bear witness to. In the following week, Jake has another fateful meeting with the manic-pixie-dream-anarchist behind the bridge attack, Sam, when she saves him from getting blown up alongside her newest target. 

Immediately, Jake is caught up in the whirlwind that is Sam, a woman who leads a dangerous life of off the grid activism. Contrary to Jake’s profound ability to drift aimlessly through everything he has ever done, Sam seems to have a mission and strong driving convictions. Her want for revolution is infectious- digging its claws quickly into Jake and making him feel a spark of emotion for the first time in his drab, dull life. On the surface, it’s clear that Sam and her fellow partner in crime, Cap, want to enact change. They want to make people look up from their phones (or, in the case of this dystopia, their smart glasses) and see the state of the world, even for a few minutes. In time, though, the waters of her revolutionary dreams only become muddier and muddier, leaving Jake to ask: What does Sam really stand for? Does Jake want to support what seems to be chaos that is just as aimless as his former life? Is he a coward for wanting to return to the simplicity of protein bars, video games, and mind-numbing news cycles? 

Jesse McKinnell’s new parodical novel ANARCHY AND OTHER LIES takes the reader a step not-so far outside of our current reality. Using dark humor and self-aware cynicism, McKinnell explores the climate surrounding modern political issues and how easy it is to fall into a pattern of both numbness and performative activism. 

The dreary world that McKinnell paints is balanced with his dry wit, cautioning the reader against becoming too entrenched in either side of the spectrum of complete inaction or completely meaningless action. ANARCHY AND OTHER LIES touches on relevant topics- poverty, homelessness, dependency on technology, and the U.S. election cycles, to name a few.

About the Author
Jesse McKinnell is a writer living in southern Maine. His debut novel, Dead Cats and Other Reflections on Parenthood was published in May 2018 and was selected by Publishers Weekly as a semi-finalist for their 2017 Booklife Prize.

Anarchy and Other Lies
By Jesse McKinnell
Montag Press Collective
ISBN: 978-1-940233-82-6
Publication Date: November 2020
252 pp

The Brothers Silver by Marc Jampole

The Brothers Silver

Childhood trauma never goes away. It’s like a disability or injury that partially—and sometimes totally—controls you, awake and asleep.

Jules and Leon Silver attend school, play sports, are Boy Scouts, and they often come home to an empty refrigerator and a mother who cannot pull herself from bed. On the outside, they may seem like everyday middle-class boys. Inside each of them, a dark history is being written that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. In his debut novel, THE BROTHERS SILVER (Owl Canyon Press, ISBN: 978-1-952085-07-9, June 15th, 2021, Original Trade Paperback, $19.95) Marc Jampole tells a story of brothers, their bond, and their struggles and triumphs.

It is the early 1960s and Jules and Leon bounce back-and-forth between their parents, living with their father when their mother is institutionalized because of suicide attempts. As they grow into manhood, one takes to the road and rebellion, while the other looks for security in a committed relationship and work. Escaping the demons from the past is not a simple task, however, and these two highly intelligent young men find disarray, shame, pain, and heartache at every turn. Like many adults who experience emotional trauma as kids, Jules and Leon are plagued with combatting emotions—pride, guilt, shame, and anger—with no place to release their pain, except on themselves.

Marc Jampole has incorporated autobiographical elements in THE BROTHERS SILVER, making his rendering of their experiences harrowingly authentic. As a poet and artist, Jampole has written a masterful novel about love, tragedy, and hope, with complex characters and original voices chosen with precision and purpose.  

About the Author:

Marc Jampole wrote Music from Words (Bellday Books, 2007) and Cubist States of Mind/Not the Cruelest Month (Poet’s Haven Press, 2017). His poems and short stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies. About 1,800 freelance articles he has written have also been published. A former television news reporter and public relations executive, Marc writes the OpEdge blog, which appears on the websites of three national publications. He is past president of the board of Jewish Currents, a national magazine of politics and arts. He and his wife live in New York City.

THE BROTHERS SILVER: A Novel
By Marc Jampole
Owl Canyon Press
ISBN: 978-1-952085-07-9
Publication Date: 6/15/2021
Price: $19.95
Original Trade Paperback
296 pages

COVID by Richard Van Anderson

CovidCoVid19 was not an accident. Its successor, the highly lethal CoVid23, is not a mutation of CoVid19. China would like us to believe the passage of 19 from animal to human was random and 23 is a mutation of 19. The United States wants us to believe 19 and 23 are weaponized strains of a coronavirus released during a botched Chinese bioweapons experiment. It will be up to Dr. David Aaronson, the new surgeon in Fallon, Nevada—home to ranchers and farmers, cowboys and indians, casinos and legalized brothels, and the US Navy’s TOPGUN training program—to tell the world what really happened. Revealing the truth will pit David against the commander of a US Army bioweapons laboratory, a narcissistic president obsessed with nationalism, and a supervirus poised to decimate the world.

“There were many things to admire about the supervirus. First, its simplicity. Its creation was complex—a noninfectious strain of the coronavirus upregulated by splicing new genes into its existing genome—but it was still just a virus, a particle consisting of a single strand of RNA inside a protein envelope.”

In COVID: A Novel of Surgical Suspense, Richard Van Anderson takes us to the small desert town of Fallon, Nevada where fugitive surgeon Dr. David Aaronson (formerly David McBride) is living a new life “witness protection” style. Soon after his arrival, he operates on a patient who comes to the ER coughing up blood then bleeds to death on the operating table from a disease process David has never seen. The mystery deepens when David learns that in the months preceding his arrival, twenty-three other patients died the same way, and adding to the mystery, not a single resident of Fallon or the surrounding county has tested positive for CoVid19—thus the reason the bars, casinos, and brothels are operating at full capacity with no regard for masks or social distancing.

“The second admirable quality of the supervirus was its ease of production, delivery, and propagation. The virus was easily mass produced, grown by the ton in giant bioreactors, then purified and dried into a simple white powder that behaved more like a gas than a solid, allowing it to go anywhere and everywhere.”

Although shocked that neither the state nor the CDC are investigating the unusual deaths, David is reluctant to get involved. This changes when he removes the hemorrhaging spleen of a young Shoshone woman and later learns that splenic rupture, along with massive hemoptysis (the coughing up of blood), are killing tens of thousands of Wuhan residents who have contracted a new variant of the coronavirus—CoVid 23. As David races the clock to find a cure for the young woman and a vaccine for the world, he battles a US Army colonel, the president of the United States, and an international shadow elite, all of whom are attempting to vanquish America’s enemies and create a new world order.

“And the third admirable quality of the supervirus? In animal studies it had a mortality rate of 100 percent. You breathe it in, you’re dead.”

CoVid: A Novel of Surgical Suspense
By Richard Van Anderson
Publication Date 9/18/2020
ISBN hardcover 978-0-9907597-6-8
ISBN paperback 978-0-9907597-7-5
ISBN e-book 978-0-9907597-8-2
360 pages