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Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America by Brian Francis Slattery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a wonderful book that needs to be read by lots more people.

Brian Francis Slattery turns what could have been a run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic adventure into a great and varied tapestry of events that never loses contact with the ground. The stories are plausible, the mythology tight, and the characters as wide-ranging as the United States itself.

The story starts five years after an apocalyptic meltdown of the US financial system. Brian Slattery has a day job as an economist, so his accounts of the causes and effects of the collapse are chillingly realistic (and oddly prescient since he wrote this before the various crises of the past two years hit). The fact that the story he tells didn't unfold in real life is no comfort, because one always has the impression that it very well could have.

The story revolves around the Slick Six-- a disbanded band of outlaws for hire. The main protagonist, Marco, is an assassin haunted by his past-- not his past assassinations, but his abusive childhood. We follow Marco closely, but not exclusively, through his quest to reunite with his friends. What starts out as a personal mission takes on immense significance for the country as The Vibe (often referred to, but never explained) starts to influence the actions of the Six along with various people across the broken landscape to reach for something greater.

The Vibe deftly weaves those who are not aware if It as well as those who are-- from a caravan of hippies, to a revived Sioux Nation, to men grown immensely wealthy in the newly revived slave market. The characters are heroic and cowardly, lovable and despicable. This book is a brilliant, unvarnished expression of the American spirit. Very rewarding to read.

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Anthony Dominello

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