Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Year of the Bomb

Paul, Arnie, Oz and Crank are big horror movie fans. I mean love being scared silly.
If it is a horror film, they've seen it. So can you imagine how they feel when they find out "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is going to be filmed in their little town of Sierra Madre, CA. This is only the best and biggest thing in their lives.

However, the background action is beyond what they ever expected. The boys manage to become friends with one of the extras and the director. They are allowed on the set and are invited to watch the entire filming, what more could a horror movie buff as for?

The boys are pretty much regular kids who have their disagreements and fights but there is nothing extraordinary about their lives, except they live in times when they have a daily drill of dropping to the floor under their desks. They do not question why they have to do this or that they are supposed to fear Russia and the communists.

As the boys get involved with the movie, they find more is happening than just the filming of a movie. People's livelihoods could be in jeopardy, perhaps even their freedom. Paul and his friends discover that there are FBI agents on the set. Why are they there, who are they investigating? This situation starts Paul thinking about how the fear the country is living with is affecting people who may be innocent. He even starts thinking about his own family situation. Each of the boys change as the story unfolds and not always for the better. It is difficult to see the fear and anger displayed by the four young men. Still this reader had to admire a willingness on the part of Paul to ask questions and not be a pod person. One also wonders how we would deal with the circumstances, hopefully, we would be more objective and open-minded.

The novel does not hit you over the head with the paranoia that was rampant in those days. It is horrifying knowing that once again American citizens could so easily turn against their neighbors and friends. This is a thought provoking work and one that should not be missed. Parallels can be drawn from this book to our current society.

I was not sure what to expect when I picked up this book but I am very glad I did. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes reading a novel that has substance and an ending that is bittersweet and not predictable.

No comments: