Pax Americana s satirical look at the world of 2034 will leave you laughing while society circles the drain, but, as all good satire must, it rings true Kurt Baumeister delivers this humorous thriller with literary precision and an insight into the ills of our current society that make the absurdity of the world he describes not outside the realm of possibility But given the state of our headlines, looking back on Pax Americana when 2034 arrives, this fast paced, head shakingly funny thriller, might very well prove a prescient road map for the wrong turns taken decades earlier. PAX AMERICANA is a terrific debut novel It is a superb satire of the industrial military religious complex that makes America so terrifying Extremely funny, it reminds me of a young Pynchon crossed with a dark Tom Robbins Very highly recommended less Evangelical Secret Agents, Fast Food Moguls, The Voice Of God In Computer Software, Violence In The Bermuda Triangle George W Bush S Foreign Policy Vindicated By A Quick Victory In Iraq, Lucrative Invasions Of Egypt And Syria Followed, Bringing Unparalleled Prosperity To America And Setting Off Thirty Years Of Right Wing Rule But When A War In Iran Goes Bad And The Resulting Cover Up Goes Worse The Democrats Reclaim The Presidency This Is The Time Of Pax Americana And Its Zealous Anti Hero, Government Agent Tuck SquiresReading The Ironic Silences Between The Lines Of The Thriller, And Roaring Like A Jet Engine, Pax Americana Is A Sacrilegious, Conspiratorial Monster Like A Literary Dogfight Between Ian Fleming And Robert Anton Wilson, Loaded With Prophecy, Baumeister S Debut Is An Exorcism And An Antidote For Our EraPraise For Pax Americana By Kurt Baumeister Selected As One Of The Best Books OfBy PANK Magazine A LitReactor Best Book Of So Far One Of Big Other S Most Anticipated Small Press Books OfAn Electric Literature GreatIndie Press Preview Book Crackles With The Energy Of Vonnegut S Best Work Andrew Shaffer, New York Times Bestselling Author Of The Day Of The Donald Trump Trumps America Brilliantly Plotted And Linguistically Nimble Rain Taxi Kurt Baumeister Has Fun With Language Than Any Novelist Since Money Era Martin Amis I Haven T Read Such Marvelously Obsessive Prose In Years Darin Strauss, Bestselling Author Of Half A Life, Winner National Book Critics Circle Award A Mad Romp Electric Literature A True Triumph The Brooklyn Rail Bleak Yet BubblyBaumeister Succeeds In Delivering The Deep Chill He Intends That Of A World In Which Evil And Good Were Justas Pass As Faith VolumeBrooklyn FantasticOne Of The Most Unique Books I Ve Read In Avery Long Time Matthew Norman, Author Of Domestic Violets And We Re All Damaged The Thriller S Been Reinvented, Smartened Up, And Rendered Blazingly Funny In Kurt Baumeister S Wild, Raucous Ride Of A Novel Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling Author Of Cruel Beautiful World Deceptive And Complex A Dark Strain Of Humor Runs Throughout, Transported By A Cast Of Morally Obscure Characters A Frenetic, Funny, And Haunting Read Samuel Sattin, Author Of League Of Somebodies And The Silent End Ambitious, Fearless, And Frequently Brilliant, Pax Americana Is A Speedball Of Religion And Politics Delivered In A Steel Syringe Of Adrenalin Chuck Greaves, Author Of Hard Twisted And Tom Lucky Filled With Lush Imagery, Lyricism, And Absurdity, Pax Americana Brings Into Relief The Subtext Of Political PowerA Daringly Imaginative Book Thaisa Frank, Author Of Heidegger S Glasses And Enchantment A Brilliantly Imagined Satire Largehearted Boy If There Is To Be An American Peace, It S Certainly Not Going To Come On The Pages Of This Lit Match Of A Novel Sean Beaudoin, Author Of Welcome Thieves This is exactly the book I needed right now to feel a littleokay with the world It s got just the right mix, absurd enough to be wild and entertaining at the same time that you could darkly see how one might unfortunately end up there from here Imagination in spades, the book thrills, entertains, and warns Great stuff all around. Baumeister s book is deceptive and complex A dark strain of humor runs throughout, transported by a cast of morally obscure characters A frenetic, funny, and haunting read. Pax Americana, Kurt Baumeister, Paperback, 380 pages, Published March 15th 2017 by Stalking Horse Press, ISBN 0998433942 ISBN13 9780998433943 2034 Evangelical secret agents, fast food moguls, the voice of God in computer software, violence in the Bermuda Triangle George W Bush s foreign policy vindicated by a quick victory in Iraq, lucrative invasions of Egypt and Syria followed, bringing unparalleled prosperity to America and setting off thirty years of right wing rule But when a war in Iran goes bad and the resulting cover up goes worse the democrats reclaim the presidency This is the time of Pax Americana and its zealous anti hero, government agent Tuck Squires. There are no rules There are rules, but the rules are chaos, Reality is chaos Everything is chaos Kurt Baumeister s action packed farcical special agent novel will transport you back to the early 2000 s despite it being set in 2034 Part of the premise of Pax Americana is during his presidency Bush cranked his foreign policy up to full blast, invading countries and exploiting them economically for America s benefit leading to a long wave of right wing prosperity The other ominous aspects of the Bush Cheney years have also prevailed, leading to a significant merger of the economy and Christianity, creating some very rich and powerful zealots A scientist has created a God software that could make religion obsolete or in the wrong hands confirm every zealot s dangerous ideology When this scientist is kidnapped a geopolitical clusterfuck of epic proportions is set into motion.Pax Americana is rich with various detailed narratives and characters that are highly entertaining and can come across like PKD writing Mission Impossible Baumeister does a great job developing these larger than life characters and putting them in over the top situations only a villainous fast food mogul and special agents for the shadow CIA would find themselves in There is plenty of action and sardonic humor to keep you engaged for the whole ride I highlighted the following line which I think encompasses satirical wit of the book Maybe the reality wasn t that we were atop the food chain, the apex predator with a soul seeking to understand the world Maybe we were a virus Or perhaps not only a virus but host, too Or maybe the virus was something beyond Maybe the virus was god, and we were only symptoms Kurt Baumeister channels Vonnegut, and flexes his literary chops, forcing you to think philosophically about religion, geopolitics, and economics but not in a sententious manner The use of violence and science fiction balance it all out.There are a lot of characters who have multiple names they are secret agents and villains and the narrative is not in sequential order which in the wrong hands could be very confusing Baumeister does such a perfect job of chopping it up in a way that the story flows perfectly and he was nice enough to put a character reference page at the front of the book which was helpful This is no flimsy novel, clocking in at close to 375 pages there is a lot to dig into here Another notable aspect of this book is how ever prescient it is reflecting today s absurd and terrifying geopolitical climate I can t deny that following the news while reading this book it was sometimes difficult to tell which one was the fiction.This is apparently Baumeister s first published novel and it is a doozie I picked it up while at AWP in Washington D.C Pax Americana was being released by Stalking Horse Press, who I am new to as well They released D Foy s new book, who I am a fan of, and after reading Pax American I would say Stalking Horse Press will hold a nice spot on my shelves Honestly, all I did was read the back of the book and I was immediately intrigued The idea of such a long stretch of Bush era rule triggered an element of nostalgia in me that I had to check it out That s the thing about nostalgia, even in the worst of times there is always some art to add comfort to it I definitely look forward to reading Baumeister s future work Kurt Baumeister s Pax Americana is a deftly rendered, imaginative, satirical skewering of many of our infernal country s sacred cows, Baumeister roasting them alive with incendiary wit, slicing and dicing them with razor sharp prose, critically dispensing them, thereby circumventing herd mentalities Dystopic, yes, set about twenty years into the future, yes, but the novel also reads as a devastating, zany take on current events, the current state of disunion, where the so called lines between church and state and corporation have long been simply obliterated Tom Robbins, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut, and John le Carr all came to mind as I read Pax Americana, but Baumeister is thoroughly his own, his chiseled, seriocomic sentences meticulously capturing America s particular hypocrisies, its absurdities brought, paradoxically, to their logical conclusions Hard to believe this exemplary artwork is a debut. Rating 5 of fiveMy full review is to come in 2018 Suffice it to say that if Stalking Horse Press hadn t sent me a review copy, I d be entering the giveaway right now praying for the all knowing algorithm to pick me, pick me You should be, too Or hellfire, kids, the Kindle edition is a lousy 6.29 Kurt Baumeister s debut is set in an alternate, near future version of the US, where certain heads of the world threaten war over a machine that can be used to brainwash the population under the guise of god At the heart of this cheeky thriller is Diana Scorsi, a brilliant scientist who has created an AI software that can become whichever god you need it to be, thus demolishing religion as it s currently known Seen as both a threat and a miracle, hard core traditionalists, religious cultists, double agents, andengage in a deadly game of cat and mouse to ensure the only hands it falls into is theirs Chock full of presidential masked kidnappings and espionage, I couldn t help but get drawn in to the viciously humorous, rapid fire plot At a chunky 380 pages, Baumeister packs so much into these pages that if you blink, you risk getting lost in the melee.