Official Review: Anarchy by Jack B. Rochester

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Official Review: Anarchy by Jack B. Rochester

Post by prospero360 » 27 Mar 2019, 10:08

[Following is an official review of "Anarchy" by Jack B. Rochester.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Set in 1970, considered by many to be the golden age of terrorism, Anarchy by Jack B. Rochester revolves around Nathaniel "Nate" Flowers, who served in the United States Air Force in Germany but is now an author, his girlfriend, Jane Chandler, who has dreams of becoming an author, and Tim Rosencrantz, Nate's friend from his days in the air force. Tim joins a group of terrorists called "Weatherman." Weatherman was fighting against capitalism and oppressors of the poor, people of color, and the disadvantaged. They considered themselves to be "Anarchists." They hoped to get the government's attention using controlled explosions at different locations, including the explosion of the Haymarket Square Statue at 652 W. Randolph Street, Chicago. The novel further follows Tim as he attempts to convince Nate to become an anarchist, Nate's career as an author and his relationship with Jane, and the involvement of the FBI in trying to shut down "Weatherman."

I would classify Anarchy as a historical fiction novel. However, there are many other themes included in the novel, like love, self-discovery, friendship, and racism. The Vietnam War and police brutality were also discussed and portrayed. I liked the good job the author did on the plot; combining different themes expertly, creating realistic obstacles for the characters to overcome, and giving the story a very good structure without any plot holes. The interesting plot was what engaged me the most in this book, especially considering the slow pacing of the story. The pacing affected my reading quite a bit, as I took long breaks between chapters, but the story kept me coming back to find out what happened next.

However, the author's focus on the plot clearly affected character development. There wasn't much depth about any of the characters besides Tim. Most times, it felt like Jane didn't have a mind of her own, as she went along with whatever Nate said or did. The same thing was applicable to Tim's girlfriend, Crystal, who was all about sex and went along with what Tim said. Most of the characters also seemed to believe that the solution to every problem was to blow something up. The growth I saw in Tim's character throughout the story, from the events revolving around Tim discovering his purpose to his sexuality to his uniqueness, just wasn't evident in the other characters.

Furthermore, Jack's writing style wasn't as descriptive as I would have liked, which made it difficult for me to visualize the places and events he talked about most of the time. However, the author's description of the story seemed to improve remarkably when it came to the sex scenes, and I would have preferred that style of writing to have been maintained throughout the story. For a book involving terrorism and the FBI, one would expect that it would be full of action and suspense, but this was another area the book lacked in. There was suspense a few times in the story, especially towards the end of the story, but it wasn't as much as I would have liked.

Anarchy is well edited. I didn't find a single grammatical or typographical error throughout the book. It was also very well organized, containing dates at the beginning of each chapter that made understanding the story very easy. There were also a few thought-provoking discussions in the book, especially on dichotomy and how things can only exist when there is an opposite, violence being the only way to start a revolution, the consequences of terrorism, and more. These are parts of the book that will interest a lot of readers.

After much deliberation, I will settle for rating Anarchy 3 out of 4 stars. Poor character development certainly takes out one star. Other issues listed above made me consider taking out another star, but the book's editing, interesting storyline, and engaging themes convinced me otherwise. I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. There is also something in the book for people that are into erotic romance novels. However, this book is not suitable for a younger audience.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 02 Apr 2019, 04:35

This book sounds like quite a mix. My favourite part from what you describe would be the thought-provoking discussions about revolution and terrorism. I was born in 1970 and had no idea that that was the apogee of terrorism, something I have only seen get scarier in my lifetime. That may have been the time of the sexual revolution, but it was also supposed to herald the start of greater sexual equality, so it's a shame the female characters were so weak. Thank you for your comprehensive review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Apr 2019, 07:46

It's too bad the characters didn't really have much depth. I think I might disagree that the 1970s were the golden age of terrorism, but I wasn't around then. Therefore, I'm not sure I can really say. This sounds interesting in spite of the character issues, but it's not a genre I usually enjoy. So, in spite of your lovely review, I think I'll skip it. Thanks.
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Post by Prisallen » 02 Apr 2019, 15:53

It's a shame that the same character development that Tim had didn't apply to the other characters. It takes away from the story if you can't identify with the characters. Good review!

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Post by Juliana_Isabella » 02 Apr 2019, 17:29

It's interesting that the author chose a genre where he created his own characters but followed a historical plot and then chose to develop the plot instead of the characters.

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Post by Crazyreader01 » 03 Apr 2019, 09:05

I don't think I've ever heard of or read a book like this. I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review. :tiphat:

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Post by kdstrack » 03 Apr 2019, 13:21

The historical fiction and the discussions are appealing. Your reasons for giving the higher rating are persuasive. I am leaning toward reading this one. Thanks for the review.

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Post by chiefsimplex » 03 Apr 2019, 14:56

Police brutality and terrorism portrayed within the same stream. The effect of this contrast is interesting :terrorists ,while they sometimes come from noble premise lose it totally when it comes to means and then we have a legitimate government and a conventional police force whose means similarly are amis.I think i may enjoy this one .Thanks for sharing.
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Post by Lungz_ » 08 Apr 2019, 12:26

Thank you for the review. With real foreign issues its much better to be clearly put in the picture.

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