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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

10 September 2009


Rash by Pete Hautman is a dystopian future of the USA, now called the USSA, where there are so many safety laws it is required to wear a helmet to go for a walk.

Bo's family has its share of members who are in prison. Of course, with the new laws it is easy to end up there. The country functions due to the work camps that produce everything that keeps the country viable.

When Bo gets in trouble due to his temper, he may be going to a work camp himself. His father is the south shelling shrimp and his brother is in Arizona patching holes in the highway.

Hautman, the winner of a National Book Award for Godless, creates an extremely regulated future where civil liberties have been replaced with safety laws. He creates an unusual dystopia where the people are protected within an inch of their lives where dangerous sports such as football have been outlawed, most hard surfaces are padded, and it is a misdemeanor to hurt the feelings of the people around you.

The Federal Department of Homeland Health, Safety and Security is the future created out of a time when people are so paranoid about germs that they carry hand sanitizer with them at all times. This is a great book that takes some trends today and exaggerates them. Pete Hautman is a delight to read.

Hautman, Pete. (2006). Rash. New York: Simon Pulse.

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