Bald New World
Peter Tieryas Liu
What if everyone in the world lost their hair?
Nick Guan and his friend Larry Chao are a pair of eccentric filmmakers who choose to explore the existential angst of their balding world through cinema. Larry is heir to one of the most lucrative wig companies in the world. Nick is a man who’s trying to make sense of the tatters of his American dream. Taking place throughout China and America, the pair set off on a series of misadventures involving North Korean spies, veterans of an African War, and digital cricket fighters. Their journey leads them to discover some of the darkest secrets behind wig-making and hair in a hairless world.
“A United Nations agency was set up to regulate domestic security and while some jokingly referred to them as Big Brother (an arcane reference to an ancient writer who couldn’t understand how crucial surveillance was to the survival of the individual), most just knew them as the Vid Coppers.”
Bald New World…I admit the title piqued my curiosity. I tucked into this book and I could not put it down, it was devoured in a few hours.
A sinister and savage narrative with unique subject matter might not be for all readers. Hitting the reader with both psychological and physical elements certainly creates such an enthralling read.
Peter Tieryas Liu is a exhaustive writer. The visual image of a dystopian future in extremely vivid with intensity. Combining a backstory seamlessly merging with the present tense complete with plausibility. Current issues are addressed, pollution in Asia, gun violence in the US, along with the shadow of North Korean dictatorship.
The novella is a hodgepodge of genres – thriller/suspense, action adventure, humorous. Absurd and ingenious. The themes are plenty as well – various forms of control such as familial, corporate, political and religious. The predominance of advertising and propaganda is also inserted. A deep narrative with a literary edge worthy of your reading time and attention. A writer possessing a pronounced style paired with a narrative not short of surprises, a memorable and provoking reading adventure.
“Waiting here in the lobby, I was half-awake, half-asleep. More advertisements played and I tried to shut them off but was kindly told, “If you opt out of advertisements, there is an hourly fee for waiting in the lobby.”
… I slept in the lobby, drowning out the ads. They used subcortical rays to invade my dreams. I was alright with that even if I dreamt of surgeries I didn’t need just as long as I could sleep.”
▪︎Perfect Edge Books June 2014
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review