Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blinders Keepers / John Rachel

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Satire

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Novelist John Rachel is an ex-patriot American, who currently lives in Japan. He has three other books available.

For more, visit his website.


“Collapse, chaos, confusion, rioting, looting.

And that's the good news!

America is coming apart and the President can do nothing to stop it.

But 23-year-old Noah Tass has his own problems. Stuck his entire life in the hayseed capital of the Bible Belt after his father abandoned him 18 years ago, he has no future, all his friends are losers, his job is a dead end, his mother is stark raving mad, and his sister is a meth head stripper.”


Although never explicitly stated, Blinders Keepers is set in contemporary times, call it the very near future. It’s satirical and definitely has its moments. For example, the sitting President of the US can string together clichés while saying nothing as well as any politician you’ve ever seen. Or the description of an odor as “unlike anything Noah had ever encountered, having never exhumed a person from a grave or stuck his head inside the bloated anus of a cow that had been rotting in the sun for several weeks.”

However, it also has some issues. A fair number of errors that were not caught in proofreading is one. Mysterious happenings around the country and massive social changes occurring in a short amount of time that stretched my ability to suspend disbelief without more explanation or justification for how they were happening. Eventually I managed to just take it on faith and go with the story, but it was a struggle to get there. There were minor issues as well including stating that it was “supposed to be impossible” to determine your approximate location if you visited a website. This is actually fairly trivial and has been for some time. Or the protagonist knowing that something was fake with no way for him to have figured that out. However, by its nature, I think satire gets more leeway than most genres in straying from reality and by the last half of the book I was engrossed in Noah’s adventure in spite of the flaws.


Adult language and mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

A large number of copy editing and proofing misses.

Rating: *** Three stars

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