Kmurphy's Reviews > Junk

Junk by Christopher Largen
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Sep 28, 10

Read in September, 2010

In Christopher Largen’s novel Junk, readers are thrown into a world where a war has been waged on junk food.

Through this hilarious work of art, Largen creates a future where everything from Twinkies to coffee has been banned by the government in an attempt to fight obesity.

It sounds ridiculous, right? The answer is yes, but Largen tackles the issue in a way that is both endearing and realistic at the same time.

Through a mix of interesting characters, from a baker named Billy Sweet and his dog Sugar who is ostracized for his profession to Justin Bailey, the officer who forces the laws against ingesting sweets, readers are kept on their toes as to what exactly is going to happen next or who else is going to appear.

The best part about this novel is its apparent sense of self. At no point during the novel does Largen stray from who is he as a writer or from what point he is trying to make. Junk is a very in-your-face look at the watchdog role that the government holds over its citizens.

While readers may enjoy being propelled into this fantasy world where such an absurd act has taken place, they are also forced to recognize at the same time that this is something that we face in our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. We see it every single day when we turn on the news: underage kids are buying alcohol because they know they aren’t supposed to, border patrols are attempting to combat the cocaine trade between the U.S.-Mexico border, etc. Whether we realize it or not, we are going through the same things Largen’s characters are, just in a more discrete way.

So the question is, is Largen’s fictional world as far-off as it seems or is it closer than we think?
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