John King, irresistible destroyer of a futuristic “perfidious Europe”

Between giga-parody of contemporary Europe and mega-nightmare of a dictatorial superpower Europe, “Anarchy in the USE” keeps a double promise. That of an insolent fiction, announced in France by its title Sex-Pistolien. And that of a virulent political pamphlet induced by the title of the original version of the book, lightning provocative shorthand, judge for yourself: “The Liberal Politics of Adolf Hitler”.

With such a title, John King sets the bar for satire very high. A bar that he will cross by pulverizing records of disturbing incendiary imagination and verbal ingenuity.

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From there, two hypotheses for the reader. Run away as fast as he can from what he deems to be a cynical and unsubtle rant. Or enter fully into the romantic game of an uchronia that is at once deep, hilarious, and tragic.

A word of advice, if you opt for risk-taking, abandon any cultural a priori and any moral consideration on the threshold of the book, because, very quickly, things will rock.

So here we are. Somewhere in a hundred years, maybe… Welcome to “United Europe” ! Capital: Brussels. Holy and ultra-liberal land of “New Democracy”. A military-bureaucratized paradise where sadism is finally recognized as being of public utility. With its hierarchy, its elites Crates »Technologies »his ” Good Euros »and its massive herds of animals (requalified “sub-humans”) raised to satisfy the exponential level of meat consumption, a signature of European prosperity. Pigs and lambs which, out of honorable concern “transparency”are taken to the slaughterhouse behind glass walls allowing everyone to feast on the spectacle.

A Europe with sound public transport to the sound of “New Rubettes hit: Sugar Baby Love”. A peaceful region, governed from the heights of the Tour Jean Monnet, father of this ” United State ” alongside other revered founders like “Charlemagne, Joseph Stalin, Caesar, Hitler, Angela Merkel”. A state where a martial plenitude reigns, a sort of technoid Great Reich, geopolitical descent, one guesses, of what was a distant conquering, saving, and intrinsically benevolent Nazism.

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Yes. You had to dare. And that’s just the beginning.

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Thanks to the “Himmler” search engine

The man who runs this Eden, Horace Starski is not a fanatic fuhrerno, it’s a ” Controller ». And all the same, as in the same film that would be produced jointly, in a parallel Hollywood, by the Monty Python of “The Meaning of Life” and the Visconti of “The Damned”. Thus, model of public service and friendliness, the Police, probable heir to the ancient Gestaponow falls under an organization calmly baptized the ” Cool “.

It’s the ” Cool “ who is in charge of eliminating “deviants”, those who would dare to criticize the new values ​​and historically acquired European rights. First and foremost: pedophilia, an activity “formerly illegal” whose valiant practitioners had to undergo “the worst insults”. Or even the hygienic and entertaining recourse to the torture of animals.

Deviants who are tracked down and neutralized, rest assured, thanks to the digital network of the ” InterZone » and the infallible search engine “Himmler”if necessary assisted by the suspicious software “ Soup ». Take what it takes!

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Everything is almost for the best in this brave new world where everything is monitored, digitized, rewritten, falsified. From the meaning of words to the meaning of History. No books, no records, no newspapers. Nothing more cumbersome, physical, and civically subversive. What virtual! Of the reconstituted. Happy and docile, the European population is equipped with a “Palm”a kind of smartphone-snitch directly grafted, as its name of additional organ indicates, into the palm of the hand.

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“Fuck Brussels (And Fuck Berlin Too)”

The only shadow on the board of this barely sustainable happiness: the survival of a puny residue of old Great Britain, on the outskirts of London (a city now endowed – that is to say the progress accomplished! – with a monumental statue of Joan of Arc of “twenty meters high”). An inhospitable, socially muddy zone, where “alarming levels of Britishness”. Region infested with rebels of the group known as “GB45” a bunch of anarchist, socialist scum, and of course “racists” in other words : “pedophobes” vegans, hostile to the miracle of “unification” and admirers of “war criminal” Churchill.

It is in this lost territory of the ” New Democracy » life of the resistance fighter Kenny Jackson, dealer in banned books, punk-rock lover, cider drinker, and regular in pubs where people dare to sing the clandestine revolutionary anthem: ” Fuck Brussels (And Fuck Berlin Too) »

Seed of terrorist, parasite Jackson, it is clear. Said like that, the judgment can shock. Of course… But you have to contextualize, stick to the truth of the facts, and remember that: “Churchill and his murderous cronies had declared war on the German and French democracies in the 1940s.” At the same time, “Vichy’s continental forces had been dragged through the mud by the traitor De Gaulle. » Worse, it’s him again, the psychopath Churchill, “carried by an insane hatred of non-Britons” who had had the monstrous “idea of ​​the Final Solution » .

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We immediately understand better.

Let’s stop there for the edifying “historical” landscape of the novel. Let’s not spoil anything about a plot that would make “A Clockwork Orange” look like a Perrault tale… And let’s come to what makes “Anarchy in The USE” an excellent novel of a reputedly bad genre, science fiction , and, to make matters worse, an uchronia! Register more often producing turnips than memorable works such as “Fatherland” by Robert Harris or “Master of the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick. Alternate life is all or nothing. We accept or we reject the starting postulate.

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A dystopia as sweet as it is grating

Here, John King’s immediate tour de force is to casually magnify the unbearable, the odious, the madness. Without any preamble to cushion the mental shock. The lukewarmness, if you ignore it, is not at all the kind of King house. Incisive observer of the growing inequalities, of the social and cultural stagnation of England today, warm defender of a proletariat in the process of dissolution in the globalized economy, destroyer of elitism, wielding irony like no other – razor blade, the novelist would rather be inclined towards the post-match fight and the literary headbutt. Those who have “Football Factory” or “Human Punk” can attest to that.

But there, he outdoes himself by imposing as natural and self-evident, by setting up a mind-blowing futuristic decor, “Blade Runner” style, by crazy inversion of values, and by a continual distortion of language, a totally schizophrenic narrative. A dystopia as sweet as it is grating. An epic beyond Big Brotherwhere the implicit gravity of the subject (radical criticism of the European Union before Brexit – the novel dates from 2016) rubs shoulders with destructive burlesque at all times.

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Alright, we’re watching, we’re plotting, and we’re strangling in ” New Democracy » carnivorous. Yes, but be careful, it’s very gentle and courteous, sitting in a reclining chair “panda skin”, savoring a “apple/banana shake” flavored “day-old chick”and before going to distract himself sexually in the basement of the palace of debauchery: the ” Bilderberg Tower!

John King pushes here to the extremes the parody inspired by his insubordination-aversion to Brussels. It accumulates from chapter to chapter heaps of sadistic or surreal strangeness that will make people scream in horror or laugh. Beneath the exterior of a delirious farce, “Anarchy in the USE” proceeds to a regular rendering of the European idea, of the “global market”multinationals, the digitization of the contemporary world and its corollary: generalized mass surveillance.

As such, the novel fits brilliantly into the vein of references that are of course the writings of Orwell (“1984”) or Ray Bradbury (“Fahrenheit 451”). But he does so by constantly setting himself apart with a humor that is darker than dark, and by the profusion of often hilarious literary, political, musical, cinematographic or football references.

No one is required to share the obvious sarcastic bias of the novel. We bet that there will even be grumpy people to ask learnedly: “Can we laugh so much at Europe? » Answer : “Yes, but only with John King!” » Because it takes devilish talent to craft a novel that’s both horrifying and, in its own sly way, so…cool.

What is Orwell fashion the name of?Anarchy in the USE, by John King, translated from English by Diniz Galhos, Au diable Vauvert, 512 p. 24.50 euros.

John King, irresistible destroyer of a futuristic “perfidious Europe”