Recently I finished Alex Kurtagic’s Mister, a dystopian novel set in the not-so-distant future. Mister is the story of the everyday frustrations of anarcho-tyranny experienced by an unnamed Englishman referred to as Mister as he goes on a business trip to Spain. The novel could be summed up as ‘This is the Future You Chose: the Book’. This is the fictionalization of the scenarios outlaid in such books as We Are Doomed, America Alone, or Suicide of a Superpower.
Mister is the main character and he functions well as a self-insert for the types of people who would read his books. He’s an intelligent, detached, and cynical observer of the world around him who is trying his best not to get involved in the everyday lunacies that end up overwhelming his life, but throughout the book he finds that although he might not be interested in anarcho-tyranny, anarcho-tyranny is interested in him. He’s not particularly likeable character, but he is sympathetic, if only because of the unjust persecutions the world inflicts upon him will resonate at least some with those aware of the growing anarcho-tyranny in our own society.
There are numerous cameos of varying importance of various alt-right figures occur throughout the book, adding some easter eggs for those in the know. Apart from that, most of the other characters are not very fleshed out, they are mostly caricatures who play their part on the story, but that’s doesn’t harm the book in any way, as the world itself is the main focus of the book not the characters, as it should be.
The Spain Kurtagic paints is a generally realistic extrapolation of current discivic trends happening throughout the Western world. It is a world where government growth, inflation, political correctness, multiculturalism, anti-natalism, mass immigration, pathological altruism, and apathy are rending the fabric of society. The world-building is excellent, and often times its the little things and minor inconveniences, like the price of a coke, that really drive home the dystopia. He really captured the bizarre madness of progressive totalitarianism.
The writing itself is impeccable, if a bit high-brow for my tastes. This is very much done in a literary style, with all that entails. Although, it never get so literary that it becomes unreadable, thankfully. Kurtagic is very detailed and very precise in his descriptions which is often a good thing, but sometimes it seems he is drawing the description out. My friend who first recommended the book to me said that it was the greatest piece of fiction he had read and every word was perfect, so your mileage may vary.
One thing I did not like about the book, was that a lot of the minor characters were described as ‘he looked like Obama’, or ‘he was a skinnier version of some-name-I’ve-never-heard-of-before’. Given the precision and descriptiveness of the rest of the book, this tactic of just describing someone as looking like a (somewhat) famous person seemed somewhat lazy to me.
Another problem I had with the book was also with the characterization. I really don’t want to sound PC, but there was far too much overuse of descriptions along the lines of ‘bestial sloped-brow savages’. This is the kind of book I would like to be able to recommend to others as a narrative so they can viscerally understand the problems faced by our descent into anarcho-tyranny, but because of the descriptions there’s no way I can recommend it to ‘normal’ people without it being immediately disregarded and me labelled as a horrible person.
Despite these shortcomings with the characterizations and descriptions, which admittedly not everyone might see as drawbacks, the story itself was excellent. Mister’s torturous journey through the hells of anarcho-tyranny was realistic and frightening. The insane adventures imposed upon Mister are well-done. I particularly enjoyed the interrogations of Mister, which were bleakly humourous in their Kafkaesque madness.
Overall, despite a few flaws, I very much liked this book. It is an excellent story of anarcho-tyranny that really drives home all the theory the alt-right puts out. I’d highly suggest picking up Mister and giving it a read.