Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bald New World by Peter Tieryas

Genre:  Adult Dystopia
Expected publication date:  May 30, 2014

Description (taken from Peter Tieryas' website):
What if you woke up one morning and everyone in the world lost their hair?

In Bald New World, that very event happens and overnight, religion, politics, and fashion undergo dramatic shifts. Nick Guan and his friend Larry Chao are a pair of eccentric filmmakers who choose to explore the existential angst of their balding world through cinema. Larry is heir to one of the most lucrative wig companies in the world. Nick is a man who’s trying to make sense of the tatters of his American dream. Taking place throughout China and America, the pair set off on a series of misadventures involving North Korean spies, veterans of an African War, and digital cricket fighters. Their journey leads them to discover some of the darkest secrets behind wig-making and hair in a hairless world.

In this life, we take a lot of things for granted.  Take for instance our hair.  There are different colors, different styles, and it ultimately helps define our physical identity.  What if suddenly everyone woke up with no hair?  Does it level the playing field or ensue chaos?  Well, it definitely made things more chaotic in Nick's world.

Nick works with his friend, Larry, at the wig factory and as a filmmaker.  Wig factories tend to be the only business profiting after the random hair loss day.  On a random night, Nick participates as Larry's wingman in picking up girls and finds himself in a sticky web that he can't get away from.  After a murder occurs, Nick goes on the run from the bad guys.  Only thing is there's multiple variations of bad guys.  From crazy, religious fanatics to rat gamblers to hell-bent-on-revenge foes, Nick's world gets tossed and turned upside down.  But ultimately what he realizes in this crazy world of his is you still get to choose what you do with your life.  You can still be who you want to be regardless of the fluff in your world.

After reading about this world, I hope it never merges with ours.  It kind of plays with the current problems in our world, only it makes them bigger.  But it's in a sense that you could kind of see our world taking a turn for the worse and becoming this new world.  Peter Tieryas does an excellent job of tying current social media into this new world.  He even mentions one of his previous works and the employer from Hell.  Sidenote - I got to see the moral to his previous story from the main character's point of view in this story (it was awesome).  I can't say he (the author) has an excellent imagination because everything he writes about has some truth starting out in our world.  It's kind of like he wears a different shade of glasses and can see how things could potentially play out if things got a little crazier (I guess that does means he has an excellent imagination).  But back to this book:  I really enjoyed seeing how the world still didn't control the characters as much as they thought it did.  That in the end, Nick still chose the higher ground and was a good person.  We can either choose to let our bad experiences ruin us, or we can step away and still choose to live something worth living.

This book is definitely not my normal genre.  But I'm sensing a theme with Peter Tieryas' novels: the crazier the better.  Even though the themes aren't obvious at all and you'll scratch your head wondering what it was all about, you'll still be remembering the story years later.  He's an author to remember (as strange as his works are)...

Thanks goes to Peter Tieryas for providing me a review copy.

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