Book Club: Dignity, by Ken Layne

At the insistence of a friend I got a copy of Dignity by Ken Layne. I’m about halfway through it. It’s very light reading, only 171 pages long and each chapter consisting of a letter written to some community by, well, someone.

The overall tale told is of a near-future where society begins down the path of an economic collapse. A group of friends left the cities to start living in abandoned, unfinished subdivisions and strip malls, creating little communes outside of the eyes of most of the rest of civilization. The author of the letters, known only (so far) as N, is one of those original groups who now travels among the other communities that are springing up under the same premise. N tells the tale of B, the one who encouraged the idea, and spreads advice, encouragement, and stories to all of the new communities springing up.

It’s interesting, and pretty well put together so far. The anti-consumerism message is extremely heavy-handed, but fits well in the context of the narrative. Of course it’s also a tad hypocritical… N decries the fixation of society on the ‘screens’, TV, cell phones, tablets, etc, yet the book is primarily available as an e-book. But whatever. Quite a digital page turner, however.

Interestingly, it’s also given me another sort of post-disaster idea to go along with my solar charger. I’ll cover that later.