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Rashby Pete Hautman
Synopses & Reviews
"Of course, without people like us Marstens, there wouldn't be anybody to do the manual labor that makes this country run. Without penal workers, who would work the production lines, or pick the melons and peaches, or maintain the streets and parks and public lavatories? Our economy depends on prison labor. Without it everybody would have to work — whether they wanted to or not."
In the late twenty-first century Bo Marsten is unjustly accused of a causing a rash that plagues his entire high school. He loses it, and as a result, he's sentenced to work in the Canadian tundra, at a pizza factory that's surrounded by hungry polar bears. Bo finds prison life to be both boring and dangerous, but it's nothing compared to what happens when he starts playing on the factory's highly illegal football team. In the meantime, Bork, an artificial intelligence that Bo created for a science project, tracks Bo down in prison. Bork has spun out of control and seems to be operating on his own. He offers to get Bo's sentence shortened, but can Bo trust him? And now that Bo has been crushing skulls on the field, will he be able to go back to his old, highly regulated life?
Pete Hautman takes a satirical look at an antiseptic future in this darkly comic mystery/adventure.
"Hautman (Invisible) explores the modernday tension between safety and freedom in this intelligent and darkly comic satire set 70 years in the future. Despite the daily dose of sedative required for all teens in the United Safer States of America, Bo Marsten reacts badly when he sees his girlfriend with his track rival and nemesis. 'The locks and harnesses and chains of self-control snapped, one after another, like Frankenstein's monster breaking loose from his bonds.' In Bo's society, even minor infractions result in prison terms, because their labor 'makes this country run.' Sentenced to work at a pizza factory in the Canadian tundra (the USSA annexed Canada in 2055), Bo finds himself a candidate for the warden's favorite pastime — watching his inmates crush each other's skulls on the gridiron. Football is outlawed, so only outlaws can play (think The Longest Yard with bears). In the meantime, Bork, the A.I. that Bo had been creating in science class, achieves self-awareness and independently tracks Bo down in prison with a plan to spring him — but can Bo survive on the outside? Hautman's vision of a futuristic nation wracked by litigiousness and terrorism is sharply observed — and frightening. Bo's Gramps (born in 1990 when kids could still run without protective safety gear) incisively sums up the book's undercurrent: 'I think the country went to hell the day we decided we'd rather be safe than free.' This thought-provoking and highly entertaining dystopian fantasy is certain to spark discussion among teens. Ages 12-up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this futuristic satire by a National Book Award winner, a teen is sent to work at a pizza factory in the Canadian tundra after being accused of causing a rash that plagues his school.
About the Author
Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults, including Blank Confession, All-In, Rash, No Limit, Invisible, and Mr. Was, which was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Pete lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at PeteHautman.com.
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