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    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Rash by Pete Hautman
    Imagine a future where McDonald's owns the prison system, where the Child Safety Act requires a full uniform of safety gear for all students playing sports, where football is illegal, and dropping an apricot at the grocery store could land you in jail. When Bo Marsten gets in a fight with a fellow student, his three strikes are up and he's out and he's sent to McDonald's Rehabilitation and Manufacturing for a three-year sentence -- assembling pizzas. It's a dangerous place, this plant -- the floors are naked cement, walls and corners have no padding, and polar bears patrol beyond the fence. But the most dangerous part of all is the Goldshirt gang -- favourites of Hammer, the warden. Bo wins a place in the gang and gets involved in a world of underground football, and his life takes on new excitement and new meaning -- until the artifical intelligence he created as part of a school project hunts him down and turns lawyer.
    Another of those great futuristic dystopic stories -- that's a bit disturbing and could absolutely be life on the horizon. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would have liked more of it. It reads quickly and easily, even though some of the concepts, while conceivable, seem strange and unlike our present world -- but then, that's the point.
    Y FICTION Hautman

    For more books along similar themes, try this link to The End of the World as We Know It booklist.

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