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One to be missed, April 8 2001
I must be honest and say that I love a good end of civilisation as we know it novel. Alas, although Patriots fits well within the genre, it cannot be called a good work.
To begin with the characters are two dimensional, cardboard figures, about whom we really know very little. Why they set up their retreat, what angst motivated them, how their alienation from society came about; these themes are hardly even touched upon and they are certainly not explored. The reader is told that the main characters are Christians: hardly a motivating factor one would have thought, but it is the only one that we are given.
The novel also has a near pornographic obsession with guns and descriptions of guns. It is as if the characters only come alive when they are fondling their weaponry. Such activities may be of interest to a Freudian analyst, but it hardly makes for a page turner that cannot be put down.
In his own introduction to this work, the author James Wesley,(sic) Rawles admits that he added reams of technical data deliberately. One assumes that what he wanted to create was a novel that also contained useful information. However, what he has created is a leaden prosed lump that is neither fish nor fowl. As a novel it fails because what little plot there is has to be halted regularly to allow for technical descriptions, usually of guns. As a technical work for those curious people who think that black helicopters and the United Nations are just waiting around the corner it fails because the information can be gleaned elsewhere, and in far greater detail.
As a plot-line, economic collapse and a resulting invasion by foreign armies, has all the hallmarks of a good read. What a pity that this one failed to live up to expectations...