Arts & Leisure

Book review: Anthem — by Noah Hawley

(Grand Central Publishing)

If you’ve seen the Netflix feature film, “Don’t Look Up,” you’ve already experienced this sort of hyper-contemporary, crisis-confronting satire. Comparing his novel to a Chekhov play, the author informs the reader: “This is a story about America… If you think the next act of American life is going to unfold without gunfire, you’re not paying attention.” While this book doesn’t appear to include a trigger warning, let me spoil a plot line that runs through the book; there is an ongoing suicide crisis, taking the lives of countless children. In the dark midst of this, an unlikely band of heroes emerges in the fast-paced, unfolding chaos where big pharma still makes big bucks, clown-mask-wearing vigilante mobs roam the streets and terrorize the government, and the accelerated climate crisis unleashes devastating weather events and unstoppable forest fires. The truths and half-truths are practically unbearable to witness, yet brilliantly deployed and very entertaining. And the internet becomes little more than a yelling box, ensnaring the parents when the lives of their children depended on them. Adults just kept pretending nothing was wrong and now the kids are left to fight for the greater good, for community, for civilization. Fingers crossed for a Hollywood ending.

— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons. Connect with her on Instagram @jennysbookshop to find more great book reviews and recommendations. Look for these titles and more at your local bookstore.


8 Epic Literary Thrillers

The Institute, by Stephen King

Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead

The Guide, by Peter Heller

The Maid, by Nita Prose

The Every, by Dave Eggers

The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Committed, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Book of the Most Precious Substance, by Sara Gran

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