Where Are the Heroes ?

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Xlibris Corporation, Sep 1, 2006 - Fiction - 224 pages
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Where Are the Heroes? by new author Stephanie Bradley offers readers a chilling address of the psychological underpinnings of totalitarian terror through the life of a solitary character caught up in the bureaucratic forces of promoting mass purges in an ill fated attempt to quell the threat of terrorism. The story begins with a letter of apology from the main character who is locked in the bowels of a remote penitentiary while awaiting execution. The doomed character, instead of taking a final meal, opts for a laptop computer 'to play card games' to pass the time between the sentence and the execution. However, rather than play cards the nameless and condemned prisoner decides to write a story detailing the unravelling of the Republic after it is hit by two simultaneous catastrophes. As the story unfolds, the narrator guides the reader through the terror and nightmare perpetrated by the elected administration to stop a perceived terrorist threat from its inception to the character's incarceration. Throughout the ordeal, the storyteller explains the nature of the arrests, life in prison and the transformation to show how an entire society can be changed completely within a few months when the citizens and functionaries agree to accept the seemingly benign anti-terrorists strategies enacted by the administration to the point that every resident becomes a terrorist suspect subject to execution. While writing the story, the faceless prisoner also informs the reader the justification for the sentence by taking personal responsibility for playing an active role in the annihilation of over a million citizens under the auspicious of anti-terrorism. The purpose of the self-recrimination is totell the truth about the origin of the totalitarian legislation written by him as a means of restoring meaning to the people wrongfully killed and provide a new possibility for the future. The showdown between the architect of the murders and totalitarian regime and the prisoner occurs during the interrogation. During this discourse the storyteller is forced to examine and confront the external and internal ghost not anticipated. Unexpectedly the author is taken on an existential journal that further implicates the culpability and blindness exhibited by the prisoner in the creation of the regime. The interrogator forces the prisoner to admit full knowledge of the plan to murder large sections of the population and the willingness to do so for career enhancement. The narration ends with the death of the author and the fate of the terror-stricken Republic uncertain. The story is then picked up 50 years later by a child who has read the story giving the reader a further existential analysis of the new narrator and the fate of the war-ravaged Republic.

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