Book review: "Taken"
Vail, CO, Colorado
Premise makes or breaks a book, that is a scientific fact. A well-written book about a cow that stands in a field all day doing absolutely nothing will likely not make for a page-turner. Of course, there are exceptions to this general rule; it is just that though ” a general rule.
“Taken” is not lacking a plausible and terrifically interesting premise, it is lacking in delivery of said premise, making for a book that seems a little lackluster and doesn’t quite living up to its potential.
Set in 2035, Bloor writes of a world where kidnapping is a “major growth industry.” A place where the rich get richer, and now have to live in compounds to save themselves from being victimized by the treacherously poor hordes. It’s a world where the poor cleverly kidnap the children of the wealthy to gain monetary compensation. A world where the wealthy hire stereotypically-named armed house servants, who double as personality-free security guards. A world where everything is not what it seems. Again, premise can make or break a book, and this is a truly ingenious premise.
Unfortunately, in the midst of this entirely deft premise, the plot line fails to draw the reader in, at least in any convincing way.
Charity Meyers, daughter of wealthy tan-lotion magnate Hank Meyers, and step-daughter of “reality” TV host/abomination, Mickie Meyers, lives a pretty posh, if not overly lackluster, life. This all changes the moment she is taken (with her family’s permission) away from her otherwise very unexceptional life by two men in an ambulance.
What happens after this is a flashback and forward montage of the days leading up to the kidnapping and to the actual kidnapping itself. Both aspects of the story seem forced and filled with stereotypes about different classes personalities and points of view. It’s hard to read at times ” and not cringe ” while thinking that Bloor must be very middle class because he seems to have little grasp on the thought processes of either the ultra-wealthy, or the destitute.
As a result, the dialogue seems trite and gives away the premise of the novel, which is the fear of a world where people are too fearful and hateful to work and live together. A place where the wealthy care so little about the poor that they won’t even make sure that they get proper medical care.
The scariest and also most intelligent aspect of this book is that it could all really come true. The rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer (and much greater in number). The haves are locking themselves into safe and secure areas, gated communities, and the like, and are hording the best services for themselves. The have-nots are barely getting by, and are likely to become more desperate as the situation becomes more dire, particularly when it comes to health care.
Bloor’s premise reels you in, makes you want to change the world and better the lives of those around you. It’s just his writing that makes you feel as if you’ve been taken.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.