Dec 7, 2013
Someone has killed Barfman, Clarke's online friend, and Clarke is determined to solve his murder. Of course, despite the fact that Clarke is a member of the FBAI, Clarke is probably the least qualified person in the world to solve Barfman's murder. But that doesn't stop him. Clarke is a determined, if not slacker protagonist.
The world is dystopic and dark, but its a more realistic version than most. Which is to say, sure its grim and corporations own almost everything, but it has its upsides to, like improved medical technology. And games. Did we mention games? Giant immersive games which take MMO's and merge them with Reality TV to create whole sets of augmented reality that merge in on docudrama extravaganza in which to drown the sorrows of the ignorant masses. Revolution? What Revolution?
Clarke had questions, questions that needed answering like....would Superman become a werewolf if a a werewolf bit him? What if there was Krytponite involved? Who killed Barfman? Why were they trying to kill him? Who were the good guys? Who were the bad guys? Who the hell was the crazy lady making such a big deal about the god damned coconuts? What did the writing on the ring say? Wait...no...scratch that last. But definitely the first six.
Clarke's love life isn't going as well as it could either. Clarke is merely a poor government employee, a member of the FBAI gaming division that is supposed to monitor games for criminal behavior but is so underfunded its employees are more concerned about their paychecks than doing their job. Unless their job consists of filling out paper work that is. It doesn't help that Emily (his girlfriend) is being asked to spy on him for the Revolution. It definitely doesn't help that she has begun to question Clarke's sanity, ethics and integrity. Clarke can't blame her. He's begun to question these things himself.
The question of the novel ultimately is....what kind of society do you want to live in, and what price are you willing to pay to get it? For Clarke, these are not abstract questions. There are real consequences. At his lowest point, Clarke has absolutely everything he loves stripped away from him; his life, his love, his job, his friends and most important...his computer.
There are high stakes involved, but Clarke is prepared to pay the price to risk them. And when he can't afford the loss himself, he's more than happy to place the fall on some other guy in the process. Even if that guy happens to be a hacker who hates snitches and arranges to have the local terrorist cell try to kidnap him for ransom or, failing that, blow him to smithereens. Just a day in the life...
But Clarke Yossarian is not a man to take such indignity's lying down (well truth be told he would if he could but he knows he'd never get away with it) and so he fights tooth and claw and fist and maw to get back what was taken from him. Even if he has to join the Revolution to do it. Even if he has to take on the most powerful man in the world again and again and win. Even if he has to save (shudder) the most popular game in the world (Drama!) to do it.
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Copyright 2013 - Red Anvil Amalgamated LLC and Ken Lightner