Book Review: Kurt Schlichter’s Indian Country

If you’ve long felt the country coming apart at the seems, fracturing along its ideological breakpoints, you aren’t alone. Right or Left, it’s not hard to see it. The Internet is chock full of vitriol and hatred between the the camps. In meatspace, the peace was often maintained by deliberately looking the other way, or just keeping quiet.

But now, with the rise of Donald Trump, even meatspace is becoming hostile politically. I’ve lost many personal friends, and I’ll probably lose more. There are riots in streets, and graffiti right down the road from me that says “Kill Whitey – Black Lives Matter.” Hoax or true, who knows? But God knows you didn’t see things like that in my town even a year ago.

We’re heading to a dark place as a nation, presuming we even last much longer as a nation. I don’t know. When I read Kurt’s first book in this series, People’s Republic, I was instantly struck with how plausible and realistic the world he constructed felt.

In his new book, Indian Countrythis world is taken up to the eleven. You see what it would actually be like to live in a time when the country wasn’t just splitting apart, but had already cut itself to pieces. Make no mistake, the world he describes is so very possible, even likely, that it’s actually something of a frightening read.

In some ways, his writing style reminds me of Tom Kratman, as it should given their broadly similar backgrounds. You can definitely tell that the author served. His description of tactics, the grasp of command, and what it means to fight ring true.

Some trolls on Twitter, usually of the Progressive variety, have taken to calling him a stupid “jagoff” on Memorial Day, but they only prove why Kurt’s world feels so realistic. The hatred and vitriol slung his way for just the mere act of writing and promoting this book shows the truth of it.

Kelly Turnbull, Kurt’s protagonist, is a fascinating character. At first read, you might think him a simplistic military man, without any real depth. But as you get into the book, you realize that Kelly is a sort of observer of humanity, almost as much a passenger in this story as the reader.

Oh, he’s not a helpless passenger. During the course of the story, he fights, and motivates his men (and yes, they are his men, despite being a motley collection of civilians, cops, and ex-military) to great feats. But the reader gets the sense that though this story takes place in a tiny part of southern Indiana, it’s part of a much wider world that’s slowly but surely going straight to Hell.

There are some memorable characters, and some amusing one-liners here and there, including an old stubborn redneck downing Pabst on the way to a firefight because damnit, the beer was just there, and plenty of jabs at politically correct social justice culture. It’s not Crusader company, damnit, it’s “Caring” company. I guess every tanker is just a caring transsexual overweight otherkin lesbian in disguise. It sounds like the sort of irritating intellectual refuse peddled by your average SJW. Kurt, it would seem, is well acquainted with them.

The villains aren’t cardboard cutouts either. One isn’t really a villain at all, despite his role as a major antagonist. Others, while being comically idiotic zampolits (is there any other kind?), manage to get in their own way more often than not.

Indian Country is a book I couldn’t put down. It was at times, entertaining, horrifying, real, and utterly insane. And it’s a thing that may come to pass sooner or later. Kurt intends this book to be a warning. Perhaps he, like some of my friends (Sarah, I’m looking at you), believe we can still avert the coming crisis.

Me? I’m a cynic and a pessimist. Not so different from Kurt’s protagonist, in this respect. When I read Indian Country, I feel like I’m reading a history of the near future.

Wherever you might stand on the future of our country, all I can say is, this book is powerful beyond my ability to describe it, and I give it the strongest possible endorsement.

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