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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Book Review #36: OFF THE GRID: THE CATALYST by BRIAN COURTNEY


TITLE: OFF THE GRID: THE CATALYST
Author: BRIAN COURTNEY
SELF-PUBLISHED
Release Date: 24 MARCH 2015
Genres: DYSTOPIAN/ SCI-FI/ LITERARY FICTION
Available from AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE

One Man against the “Institution”

            Pan A. McCandless is an independent-thinking soul.  First of all, his real name is not really Pan.  It was earned because of his personal story’s resemblance to the mythological creature consisting of women and mischief.  He was tutored by his mother right from his childhood on working hard and achieving the “American dream.”  Pan also had a fair share of getting in trouble with the police right from his teenage years where he went to juvenile jail and got into a scuffle with racist white teenage prison mates who had wanted him to join them and their “white supremacy” agenda.  Pan had a soft spot for minorities and was totally against the police stating that they did not live up to their “serve and protect” policy but used their job privileges and duties dangerously.  Aside from these troubles, Pan sleeps with two women: one was a waitress who lived above a bar he frequented and one was a bank employee who he met when he went to her workplace to deposit a load of money he acquired through drug dealing means. 

            This book drew my curiosity when it introduced Pan as similar to the mythological being with the same name.  I am a fan of such and I also was lured in by Pan’s solo, daring behavior as well as the mention of the “Institution” because this is the first time I have heard of this subject.  What this book means by the “Institution” is the government itself and how everyone’s data is kept by it from the day we enter the world at birth so that everyone of us are easily tracked by the government at all times.  Here’s the book’s complete description of what the “Institution” means:

“According to Pan, The Institution was everyone and everything all the way down to the streets on which we drive.  The Institution is the government and the infrastructure.  It is the schools and clergies.  It is where we live and where we shop.  It is where we work and where we come together for fun and it is all around us at all times.  Everyplace we go and everything we do has a feeling of autonomy, a sense that there isn’t any connection.  This seeming disconnect, this feeling of separation is how The Institution retains its power.”

This book contains violence and sex but not graphically so it was readable and likable.  It was exciting right from the beginning and aligns with current events involving the law and illegal immigrants and their connections to cartels, drugs, and murder.  I thought the author knew quite a lot about this world or must have done extensive research or was talking from personal experience.  Pan is pretty much your stereotypical masculine character as he loves his women and booze very much.  I recommend him and this book to those who love stories having to do with the law and the whole issue of drugs and the life of a lawbreaking citizen who sees the government as an unfair entity abusing its power and privileges.  It’s a very interesting read and I guess I enjoyed reading about Pan and his very individualistic views…

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