Jiordan's Reviews > Junk

Junk by Christopher Largen
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Apr 07, 2010

it was amazing
Read in April, 2010 — I own a copy

ENC Press has turned out another master of satire in Christopher Largen. “Junk,” his novel of epic proportions, follows the lives of different but interrelated people in the government’s war on junk food.

For starters, there’s Officer Justin Bailey – the man who imposes laws against the criminal act of consuming salt, sugar, red meat, etc. Moe Goodman is in a similar boat of sorts, what with his preaching centering on a faith-driven life (and less on the sickly ingestion of outlawed products). But on the opposing side, there’s Billy Sweet – along with his canine companion, the aptly named Sugar – who makes sweet treats for the Candy Man’s black market.

It’s an interesting triangle, but the real intrigue comes from their inner conflicts. As the War on Junk wages on, the three main characters are forced to question their loyalty to their initial causes. That’s what makes this particular piece of satire exceptionally interesting. It’s “Brave New World” for our time: a story made fascinating because of how far-fetched it appears but isn’t, with the focus placed on humanity in the face of (quite literally) sugarcoated diversity. Nothing is off-limits, including a reading of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as something of a religious parable in conjunction with serious issues, like diabetics’ right to insulin and the right to personal freedoms.

With raw, stirring dialogue and a series of really witty vignettes, Christopher Largen manages to make the story’s point clear while maintaining a sense of discovery for his readers. What I love best about "Junk" is the sheer fact that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is – a syrupy novel full of personal triumphs of quality over quantity and a deep exploration of what it truly means to be an individual in a modern society. It’s not a copy of any kind.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Christopher Largen That is my favorite review. Ever. I think I'm in love. ;)

Jiordan Why, thank you, thank you. Incredible book. I meant it all!

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