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★★★★☆

“Will give the reader a mental workout”

Written on: 08/10/2013 by plappen (120 reviews written)

The One-Percenters, John Podgursky, 2009, ISBN 9781615720125

This is about a man who finds his purpose in life, but not through any of the usual ways.

Edward is your average married man. He is now on the receiving end of the wrong kind of notoriety, after his wife was a victim of a serial killer. After several months of dealing with people's attempts at sympathy, Edward abruptly moves several states away. His plan is to make a fresh start.

Already in a downward emotional spiral, Edward hooks up with Cristen. They exchange stories of their difficult childhoods; as time goes on, they find themselves in a relationship. On a camping trip, Cristen drowns (with Edward's help). He takes off, knowing that it will not be long before the police get involved. While on the run, Edward realizes something about himself.

Evolution is a funny thing. The vast majority of people on Earth will make no noticeable contribution to society. They will simply live and die, probably breeding more useless people. Edward thinks of himself as part of the One Percent (not the financial One Percent). They have the right, and the duty, to decide who lives and who dies, with the intention of bettering humanity.

Over the next couple of years, Edward is constantly on the run, carrying out his "duty." He murders several people, thereby, supposedly, improving the gene pool. One night, in a seedy bar, Edward learns that there are others like him. Throughout all of this, Edward knows that, sooner or later, he will get caught by the police.

This is a pretty dark novel, almost a psychological horror novel. It will give the reader a mental workout, with plenty to think about concerning the present state of mankind. It's also a short novel, told in flashback, that is very much worth the reader's time.

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