Currently America is faced with many social, political and environmental issues. Each of the thirteen imaginative stories in Matthew Blake’s unique collection “Why Visit America” highlights a new often abnormal solution to some of these existing problems; childcare, over population, illegal immigration, overcrowded jails, etc. These creative tales transport the reader into a future, fictional America, which is not too unlike the current United States of America, but where the protagonists’ lives are governed by different parameters.
In this thought provoking critique of the U.S.A., each story is set in a different area of America and takes part in an undated future. Some of the tales are disturbing and haunting while others are poignant and distressing, but all are a commentary from the author on modern life. Each story is different from the next, providing the reader with a subtle and not so subtle message; however some questions are left unanswered. Although this book could be classified as of the science fiction genre, individual stories could also be classified as fantasy, horror or erotica.
Some readers will find the long lists/paragraphs in some stories frustrating. Others may find this collection a little too bizarre and off beat in terms of subject matter and themes, however the solutions will leave them reflecting on the pressing moral and cultural questions of our time. Book Club members will find the discussion ‘could this solution solve this particular problem?’ both interesting and rewarding.