UNITED STATES OF AIR - J.M. Porup
The War on Drugs.
The War on Terror.
The War on Fat.
So we're talking satire, with as much subtlety as a politician on the election campaign. Which is not my favourite sort of satire I've got to admit. So THE UNITED STATES OF AIR and I struggled to come to an understanding from the beginning.
You can see the point it's trying to make - the willingness of people to believe any old garbage spouted at them from "on high" - whether the "on high" is religious, political, some combination of both or just some bat-shit crazy loony from down the street.
I can also remember Breatharians (or whatever they call themselves) actually going to the extreme of dying because they didn't believe they needed to eat (or something ... when we're talking that bat-shit crazy I tend to be looking for an exit rather than closely playing attention).
From that standpoint, the lack of subtlety probably makes some sense - there's no point in standing up to a battalion armed with an icepick and an attitude after all.... but at some point the exaggerations got so over the top and the humour attempting to choke me to death if I didn't agree got to me ... and not only did I find myself not agreeing, I couldn't for the life of me work out why I was bothering.
Which was a pity as the climax has some important points to make, but I'd worked so hard to get there, it took me a while to recognise the skewering that the consequences of blind adherence will get you.
It's decidedly possible that this was simply the wrong book for me. Maybe if you're a strong believer in the power of the icepick then you will get it in spades, but for me, THE UNITED STATES OF AIR laid the lampooning on so thick the poor little message at it's core drowned.
Food Enforcement Agent Jason Frolick believes in America. He believes in eating air. He struggles to get the food monkey off his back. As part of the Global War on Fat, his job is to put food terrorists in Fat Camp.
When a pizza dealer gets whacked in the park across the street from the Thin House, the Prophet Jones himself asks Frolick to investigate. For the first time ever, Frolick solves a murder—but what he finds out shakes his faith.
Will he ever be able to eat air again?