Travis's Reviews > Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America

Liberation by Brian Francis Slattery
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's review
Jun 27, 10

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

It's all but impossible to read a book about the collapse of the United States without looking out the window and wondering, what if? How would we manage? Where would we go, or would we stay right here? What would we be willing to do to survive? Has the relative ease of our current lives ruined us for survival in such a world? Just how bad would things get?

My suspicion is things would get pretty bad. We don't exactly have the most just society in the world, so if the old rules were to all of a sudden lose their teeth, if the prisoners were set free and the wardens were locked up, if money suddenly became nothing more than green-tinted pictures of dead presidents, then it's not hard to imagine that chaos would ensue as people scrambled to get their hands on what they needed to take care of their own.

Which is basically what happens in this book. When the country falls, it falls hard, landing flat on its back in a muddy bloody puddle of its own history, soaked to the bone with every act ever committed to make the nation what it is, or was, be it good, bad, or indifferent. "History folding in on itself" is a phrase that appears throughout. I think Slattery's biggest accomplishment here is that he makes that happen.

One of the cleverest things about this book is that it is told from the point of view of a gang of high-end criminals, the Slick Six mentioned in the title. They're experts at making a killing by playing the system off of itself. They're incredibly smart talented people who produce nothing, give nothing, offer nothing to the world; they simply use and take. So when society falls, so do the cracks in which they played their little games. The story essentially becomes criminal against criminal, hustler vs. hustler, with one side trying to liberate the hustled, to do right by the past. Every character is forced to take a look at who they were before the collapse and who they are now and try to make sense of how they got there. History folding in.

It's a fast read that manages to be both fun and thought-provoking. Pick it up. Dig it.

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