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The Take-Us: 06/09/09

Imagine an invention that could revolutionize the way the modern world works. In the past it was the combustion engine and now we're looking for alternative fuels. John Christenson, hero of >The Take-Us by John Raymond Takacs has managed to retrofit a car that can run without gasoline. Better yet, it's more efficient than any of the current electric or hybrid cars. Unfortunately for Christenson, the car is so revolutionary that a price has been put on his head!

I like a technological thriller. Throw in a fast car and a road trip and I'm usually there turning the pages. Not this time. The Take-Us is too taken up in the extreme ends of Republican rhetoric to be entertaining. The inventor protagonist is the religious right's everyman: male, God fearing and filled with good old American common sense despite being poorly educated. He's Henry Ford (including all the bad parts) but living in a world that has become so godless that his genius can't be recognized except by one beacon of hope: Fox News.

If John Christenson can just drive his car across the country with Fox News covering his momentous gasoline free drive then the world will learn how to free itself from the clutches of Islamic controlled foreign oil. His goal is to make it to San Francisco where he will meet up with the Republican god of alternate fuel vehicles, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The novel is full of bad science, stereotypes, cliches and other stupidity that it quickly earned its place in the "did not finish" pile. I stopped reading with any serious intent of finishing about a third of the way through. I did skim the rest and I gave the last few chapters a read to see if the book improves. It doesn't.

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