The Nirvana Plague

Book Review of Gary Glass’ The Nirvana Plague

The Nirvana PlagueAuthor, Gary Glass sent me an e-copy of his novel The Nirvana Plague.

Description from Goodreads:
What if perfect peace and happiness were a contagious disease? In this fast-paced, thought-provoking thriller, a schizophrenic scientist, an ambitious Chicago psychiatrist, and a hard-driving Army colonel are at the center of a frantic international struggle between the powers of government and a mind-bending outbreak of cosmic consciousness.

This is absolutely a five star book, but where to start describing it is a difficult decision. It isn’t action packed. There aren’t any real fight scenes and very little gets blown up. There isn’t any passionate romance (though there is love) and there’s not even a whiff of sex. But the whole book is chocked full of delicious irony. Plus, it has Karen Hanover and Karen Hanover is now my official favourite character of all time. She is marvellous–quick witted, sarcastic, determined, persistent and willing to fight the good fight for the man she loves (even if he doesn’t know her anymore).

The whole world is, literally, going mad…at least from the perspective of the CDC and other governing bodies. The book does an amazing job of highlighting the dehumanising (and often illogical) effects of bureaucratic thinking and red tape, until even the most mentally stable people are so enraged that they end up being treated as insane for not playing their culturally-scripted well-behaved roles well enough. Until the people in charge have wound themselves so tightly into the illusion of a problem that they aren’t able to step back and reassess the situation or recognise reality (and they can’t let anyone else either). Until they’re almost just fighting themselves in the end.

I also really appreciated that, while some arms of the bureaucracy may have been inept, the government was never portrayed as an evil entity, as it so often is in fiction. The military, CDC, Homeland Security, etc may have been failing, but they were legitimately trying to do the right thing and never once does some over zealous general order the needless killing of innocents.

Truly, anyone who has ever filled out a form in triplicate and wondered how people who could require something so inane could also successfully run the world should be reading this book. Anyone who likes to see a little bit of science-speak in their fiction should be reading this book. Anyone who likes good ironic, situational comedy should be reading this book (though it’s not ostensibly a comedy). Really, anyone who is happy to read a book that digs a little deeper, but moves a little slower should be reading this book. Highly recommended.

Side note: Mr. Glass, where-ever you are in the world, whatever you’re doing, could you pause and post a page count for this book somewhere? I love my kindle ¬† and it’s all well and good to know I’m 36% through a book. But I’d really like to know if I’m 36% through 100 pages or 1,000. Thanks, that would be great. ūüôā Ok, I’m being sarcastic, but really, please.¬†


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