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March 24, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Future History: The 2190 Edition by Jeffrey Sackett

Future HistoryFuture History: The 2190 Edition by Jeffrey Sackett
Narrated by David Holloway

Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Publish Date: January 3, 2013
Format: Audio, 5 hours | 36 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy

Publisher’s Synopsis:

By the wonder of reverse tachyon technology, we have been able to retrieve a series of essays on the History of the United States which was published (or will be published) in the year 2190 A.D. The author, Hugo Gottfried, was (will be) the custodian of the abandoned research library on Fifth Avenue in New York City. As he began in the middle of the 22nd century to read the old books down in the dark and dusty nether recesses of the crumbling old building, he slowly came to a startling realization: the economically impoverished, militarily impotent, morally bankrupt, totalitarian America of his era was not the great Republic envisioned by the Founders and created by the Framers.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy dystopian novels especially ones with good world building and speculative alternate history. When I chose this book I was expecting a work of fiction since it is described as scifi/fantasy on the publisher’s site and was about the discovery of a history book from the future. Instead, I got little more than a political opinion piece.

Soon after I began listening I realized the “series of essays” contained in this book are not what I consider a story or novel; there is no real plot, but instead a discourse on what caused the United States to crumble into an impoverished, morally bankrupt country. It was told through the point of view of future historian Hugo Gottfried. There was no character development, no plot, and mostly a lecture to the reader and a warning to take action to change the course of history now before it is too late.

While I don’t mind dark and grim predictions for the future, after all that is what dystopian is, I did expect this to be an original, creative look back from a future vantage point. Instead I found this an accusatory, heavy-handed diatribe blaming every problem since the end of WWII on the Liberal Statist mentality and that a conservative philosophy would have ‘saved’ the US from a horrific future. It was talking points ripped from the news.

The book is broken into several chapters covering the collapse of moral standards, corruption of the political systems and the breakdown in the educational system, all resulting in an eventual US civil war and a third economic depression. A selection of topics discussed were religion, abortion, environmentalism, immigration, gun control, all presented with an ultra conservative slant. For example, the legalization of gay marriage resulted in legalized polygamy and that in turn allowed the legalization of incest. The book is filled with inflammatory political arguments. It is a platform for a scathing manifesto placing the current and future problems of the United States on the shoulders of the Baby Boomer Generation and the parents that raised them.

The audio was read in a snarky sounding, almost sarcastic tone that I found distracting. (sample) At only five hours I did push through the entire book (since I agreed to review it). I was hoping perhaps it would get better, but that was wishful thinking.

Halfway through I began to wonder if this was satire and I just wasn’t getting it. But after finishing the book, I don’t think so. I checked the description again and no, it doesn’t appear to be satire. It’s ultra conservative ideology thinly disguised and marketed as a dystopian novel. This was not my type of book and definitely not what I was expecting. I would imagine this is not what most science fiction and fantasy readers would expect.

I’m sure there’s an audience out there for this book, but it’s not me.

Source: Review copy through Audiobook Jukebox.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sheila (Book Journey) / Mar 24 2013 2:25 pm

    This one would have lost me too…. I cant do political.


  2. Suko / Mar 24 2013 7:26 pm

    Thanks for your honest review, Leslie. I don’t think this one’s for me, either.


  3. stacybuckeye / Mar 26 2013 10:59 pm

    Bleck. At least you can say you listened and gave it a fair shot.



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