The success or failure of any work of fiction depends to a great extent on the writer’s ability to produce a Suspension of Disbelief in the reader. This is especially true of futurist novels, fantasy, or for lack of a better term, science fiction. The concept was first introduced by the poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817 in his Biographia Literari. When a work overcomes the barrier of the Suspension of Disbelief, it draws the reader in and takes them into the world created by the author. Such is the case with the book An Epiphany On Wall Street (Author Networks Edition, 2012) by anonym.
In this tight and perfectly grammatical 274 page fast reading book, the reader is immediately drawn into the world of Ken Loehner, the narrator. Ken, as he is referred to throughout the book, at first comes across as a real jerk, a young hedge fund trader who has lost everything and then some in a major and unexpected market downturn, and who like many would trample over others to be a financial success. He is dating Kiera, the granddaughter of the immensely wealthy Avery Wellingham, one of the elite Rockefeller-like characters who runs and controls the financial world. Ken’s interactions with Wellingham gives the the reader a Great Gatsby type of insight into how the modern day elite think, and a horrible and very believable vision of the world as they see it.
Upon leaving the Wellingham estate at the beginning of the book, Ken inadvertently and unknowingly picks up a passenger, the anomaly 9-inch super-dwarf, Sahar. She is the daughter of Pedro, the estate’s gardener, resident Mexican handyman and genius. She is so small she is unacknowledged and has learned all the secrets of Wellingham, and in a large part is the genius behind the man’s success. She is self taught and as much of a genius as her father.
The book is set in New York City which the author knows very well, and a part of New York which is now called Empire City, the financial heart of the city. Ken lives in an apartment in Empire City for which he can no longer make the rent. His world is collapsing, and as an orphan, he has long thought of suicide and accumulated a large supply of dangerous prescription drugs. He takes these drugs rather than face the reality his world has become. Sahar who has been hiding out in his apartment, observing him after traveling home with him from the estate, saves his life after he vomits up the drugs.
The rest of the book deals with Ken and Sahar getting to know one another. Sahar is out to change the world, and she recruits Ken to help her. She is a realist and understands that changing the way people think in the world, and enlightening them to the corrupt elite and their connivance with the governments of the world, one almost has to have unlimited financial resources. This is the same philosophical stance as Ralph Nader’s Only The Super Rich Can Save Us, though she is much more realistic than Nader because she realizes the Super-Rich have no intention of saving anyone but themselves.
Sahar’s insights into how the world markets and finance operate give her absolute credibility.
“I am not a creature of sacrifice nor do I bring visions of utopia.” she began calmly. “I have with my wealth the means to redress some small symptoms in your current ills, but I am no altruist. I will neither partake of the human meal, consuming others for my gain, nor the hypocrisy of giving them alms thus earned. There is no standing for the altruist to alleviate suffering ordained by a system, and then leave the system free to continue to ordain and perpetuate the self-same suffering. Communism may accomplish commonweal, but this ism claims accord with man’s rational nature and the cultivation of genius, far higher ideals than alms for the poor, the sorry stuff of laissez-faire.”
“We have a democracy based on consumer focus groups,” she said, “Sound bites tested as in the marketing of toiletries. Capitalism is above question and socialism is a dirty word that may not be spoken. The American democratic ideal is a vague memory mistakenly assumed, falsely defined, and all but dead in our time.”
“Question free markets and the beaten dog of state communism is dragged out to remind us how lucky we are to be free to pose so reckless a question. This is the child of Noah’s thinking: the external threat, be it wrath of God or foreign ism, should make us grateful for our privations, it being so much worse elsewhere in the flood.”
This totally well thought out dystopian novel leaves the reader optimistic in spite of the darkness of modern day problems and hungering for the next book in the series. This reviewer urges everyone to read this extraordinary and insightful book and the books to come.
from the archives:
Review of Book 2 in the series: Inside the Nefarious and Unethical Worlds of High Finance, Intelligence and MIC by Guadamour