Getting Near the End by Andrew Weiner (Red Deer Press), 268 pages, $26.96 cloth. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
You'd think a guy who has a b.a. in social psychology from the University of Sussex and an M.Sc. in social psychology from the London School of Economics might write about head cases. Instead, Andrew Weiner has written Getting Near The End, a science-fiction-based story about a rock star, Martha Nova, who incorporates her prophetic, apocalyptic visions into songs.
Weiner paints a world where medication is mandatory, disgruntled youth are stifled, and Nova's terrifying visions earn her a cult following called the Children. Nova's character comes to life with creepy childhood flashbacks and flash-forwards involving a being she calls the Darkman.
As if this weren't weird enough, a parallel story of three astronauts on a journey to Mars gets thrown into the mix. Nova has a one-night stand with one of them, resulting in her son Daniel, a Children of the Corn weirdo who spouts his own visionary predictions. The plot thickens.
Getting Near The End does have a grand finale that brings the story to a boiling climax. Nova comes out of rock-star exile to sing at a concert ringing in the New Year 2023 that adds to the mounting tension of a city already on its head.
In 268 pages, Weiner manages to draw you in and spit you out without your even noticing you're being chewed. When it's done, you feel like you want to be chewed up some more.