Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
An edgy, cynical character-driven ride
on 2 June 2005
If the opening of the book doesn't get you, then give up. It opens at the end... There's a guy (Tender Branson), in a plane, that's going to crash, and he's inevitably going to die - and he knows it. Look at the page numbers - they count down i.e. the last page is page 1. So what you get is Tender's painful life, recorded onto the black box recorder of the plane, in a race against time before he and the plane crash into the Australian outback.
Tender Branson is born into a Deliverance Day Cult, sold into servitude, and there he stays until one day the whole cult commits suicide. As all cult members (inside and out of the cult village) have been programmed to do the same, the government sets up a survivor programme whereby they try and stop the remaining members following suit. This is fairly unsuccessful as Tender ends up as the only one left alive. This is where the books takes a turn and he is swept up by a media agent who turns Tender into a pre-packaged, TelePrompTed, made-for-TV messiah.
Other reviewers have already covered the subjects that this book touches upon. It's angsty, it's nihilistic, and it's got a couple of good one-liners. It's quite far-fetched but it's based in enough reality to keep it interesting. It's a pacy read, it raises questions about modern society and it's well written. Don't know what else I can say other than I really enjoyed it.