“They’ll panic at first and stop all gasoline delivery. They’ll ease restrictions when they figure out which supplies are still clean. Because you can’t order Americans to stop driving. It’s like telling them to stop eating. They think God gave them cars.”
They say that fiction is truth sprinkled with a few well placed lies. In this week’s book, “Black Monday,” by Bob Reiss, the truth has been contaminated with sludge. This fiction novel is based on the world’s near end when a foreign company doing business in the oil industry, sets off a catastrophe of monumental proportions. The crime – introducing a heat resistant bacteria, known as Delta-3, into the oil supply infecting the oil and rendering it unusable. Planes begin dropping from the sky, killing thousands. Cars stop dead in their tracks on the road. Heating oil rendered useless.
In a mix between Stephen King’s, “Cell” and William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” the world must learn how to live without oil. Fighting occurs, looting becomes commonplace, people begin starving, and ultimately people form “tribes” to survive. The main character, Gregory Gillette, fights to save the world and his family by discovering how the bacteria infected the oil supply and ultimately the antidote.
This is great fiction. The book creates awareness about the ramifications of a world addicted to oil with no alternatives in a very entertaining and suspenseful way. As an alternative energy enthusiast, I wish that Reiss integrated the use of alternative energy as part of the survival strategy. However, I’m old enough to know that I can’t have my cake and eat it too (unless it’s my birthday).
So, that being said, here are two of my favorite lines in the book. The first line is said during a neighborhood meeting. “I told you we needed alternative plans.” This second line is said during a fight on an electric train heading to Washington D.C. A wind-power exec shouts at an Exxon executive, “You people blocked us from getting grants!”