Friday, December 15, 2006
Rash by Pete Hautman
Rash is set about 70 years in the future, when current students will be grandparents. Things have changed in the U.S., which is now the U.S.S.A., the United Safer States of America. Everything is now safe--no one can play sports or litter or get angry. One fourth of the population is in prison for breaking the safety laws. These prison work camps are run by corporations like McDonalds and General Motors. Bo is a teenager who gets in trouble with the law (he causes a psychologically induced rash among his classmates) and it sentenced to a prison on the Canadian Tundra where inmates make pizzas for 16 hours a day and where polar bears lurk outside the gates. Strangely enough, this turns into a sports book when Bo is recruited for the highly illegal prison football team. Bo is a fun character to read about, and it's an intriguing look at the future. I didn't love how it ended, but I did love the idea of the book and the future world that Pete Hautman created.