Corporate greed, altruism collide in futuristic saga

Published: Sunday | December 8, 2013 Comments 0

REVIEWER, Glenville Ashby

Title: Absorption

Author: I. Cush

Publisher: RTK Publishing

Absorption is a multi-layered, almost prophetic scenario projected unto a society already bedevilled by environmental rape.

Guyanese-American journalist I. Cush's work is rooted in human redemption, altruism, and a theological foundation that cannot be dismissed.

In metaphorical terms, the sanctity of the environment is starkly explained: "Every day, we affirm to our God-Amon-Ra - that we have neither taken milk from babes nor deprive nursling livestock of their fodder."

A Sci-Fi thriller with its fair share of futuristic wonders, Absorption remains unswerving in its lucid message, shunning cryptic, abstruse and extraneous details. Testament to its social relevance, the book has already been adapted into a movie with sheer cinematographic appeal.

Cush's strength is rooted in his deft ability to juxtapose and interplay human attributes. Yes, there is avarice, but more important, is the atonement of a putrid soul, the book's arch-assassin.

Compellingly, Absorption paints a pernicious world where capitalism is unbridled and human decency is compromised. Under the guise of eradicating criminal behaviour, corporate behemoth, Trojan, devises the Absorption technology. Its ostensible mission is "to reduce the earth's carbon footprint", in order to conserve the fast-depleting natural resources.

It's a paradoxically sinister ploy, as human life is deemed expendable. Innocent people are "absorbed" and swathes of lands with exhaustive mineral appropriated.

Duplicity, paranoia, cronyism, and profligacy, create a quisling-type atmosphere that infects political leaders, willing to kill their own for the lure of jaw-dropping riches.

That the continent of Africa, rich in minerals, is a sure target for Trojan is hardly surprising.

Here, Cush relinquishes the subliminal in exchange for a tone far more exigent.

Neo-colonialism of contemporary societies in that troubled region is laid bare. "Do you think General Savimbi gives a &%# about these villagers in the Congo?" a Trojan executive bellows.

postmodern society

Surely, greed can become contagious, consuming. Everyone becomes a potential victim, even Americans. The words of another Trojan employee are steely cold: "We live in a post-racial world, a post-nationalist world now. Africans, Asians, Americans, Europeans, it does not matter. We now have a global corporate class whose interests transcend all that bull. Understand this. You are no longer fighting for American capitalism; you are fighting for global capitalism."

He continues: "What we do is in the corporate interest, not the racial or national interest."

There is resistance, though, to Trojan. Sentinel Earth, an environmental group, must obtain damning evidence to thwart approval for Absorption's purported mission before the Security Council. "We believe that we can save the earth and ourselves," Sentinel argues, with "discipline and frugality in our consumption patterns."

Here, the two parties square off. Murder, arson and paranoia are rife. The plot thickens, intrigues, gripping the reader till "the final curtain falls". Would Trojan emerge victorious?

Cush milks the clock, artfully holding his hand.

Undoubtedly, Absorption provokes the conscience.

It is an ontological undertaking, ever invoking the perennial debate on free will, while delivering a grave exhortation on human excess.

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