Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Boys Who Saved The World -bookcover
A 16 year old school boy, Jon, joins a new school and gets sucked into a secret religious group called The Brotherhood of Hebetheus. They believe they can bring peace to the world. They're all white and faintly misogynistic without being aware of it. They become convinced that an Asian girl at their school is a terrorist (in a clever twist they assume with their racist prejudices that she is a Muslim but she is later revealed to a Hindu) and kidnap her, running away to a cottage in the remote countryside. From there they send out videos to the government and media with demands to change the terror laws and give their religion status...
This book is an amazing pageturner. The pace rockets along, rising to a bloody climax and a shock ending that leaves you thinking long after you've finished the book.
But whilst teenagers will enjoy the pace, there is also a clever satirical subtext that adults will enjoy. Many of the statements made by Jeremiah, as head of hte Hebetheus, are direct echoes of Bush and Blair's most famous political slogans - 'We must be whiter than white' or 'You are with us or against us'. It's a very clever examination of what happens when people attempt to do good in the name of religion, and end up sliding into cruelty and violence.
Anyone who is interested in the theatrics of the War on Terror should definitely read this book.