A Feel Good Story about the End of the World
Who knew the end of the world could be so much fun? This is an entertaining farce on the state of politics and world affairs.
When the news all seems bad in the world, Colin Robertson’s raucous farce, Chaos Theory, a “feel good story about the end of the world,” puts an amusingly absurd spin on heavy affairs. His variety pack of eccentric characters—terrorists, politicians, and scientists—are sketched out in witheringly funny detail alongside a fast-moving plot. Despite the daunting premise, there’s no fear in seeing this book through to the end (of the world).
In the late 1950s, the race between countries is on—who can build the bigger bomb? This setup lays the foundation for the plot and the ultimate invention—chaos in a canister. Made, then lost, then found, then sold on eBay, then the catalyst for a major military operation, the matter-eating bomb will essentially devour the world, and there’s no stopping it. But where is it? And are we sure that canister is not a fake? These questions drive the story.
Robertson jumps around in time, explaining how things came to be, and uses persuasive and interesting scientific theories to make the story believable. As the Cold War grips the superpowers, the chilling consequences of domination get a goofy spin through Robertson’s skill at making intense ideas come across in silly prose. For example:
The General had once held a meeting to discuss the possibility of turning the Pentagon itself into a giant pentagram. The theory was that a large “military grade demonic symbol” might be used to summon the devil himself with whom some sort of deal could be struck to destroy the Soviets. The plan was scrapped only after the President himself got wind of it and pointed out that some might consider a pact with Satan “unAmerican.”
With tight and brisk writing, the story cruises along, poking fun at everything from a buffoon of a president to the name of Seal Team 6-squared: the country’s “best of the best of the best.”
The cover is a bit abstract and looks like a textbook, and the copy would benefit from an additional buffing to clean up the minor errors. The summary on the back cover captures the story well, however, preparing one for the humorous antics within.
Essentially a sarcastic yet serious riff on the state of politics and world affairs, Chaos Theory is entertaining and light reading on a heavy subject. Who knew the end of the world could be so much fun?
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