A mashup of classic European literature and magic realism, wherein 19th-century hero Felix Krull meets an avatar of lost Lemuria in a romantic romp to dystopia and beyond…
from the Prefatory Confession
I have often wondered if it was worth the effort to delve back into the easily forgotten past, back to a story of an old, lost world. In essence it is the rudeness of the interruption of our story by Death on his pale horse that motivates me to take up the authorial mantle—out of spite, as it were; to exercise a playful revenge. And so, lest the reader be tempted to disbelieve my providential transference across the several planes of life, let me offer the confidence that I have, in the process, exposed the masquerade of that spectral impostor.
Born Felix Krull, I was the favored son of a locally prominent, thoroughly bourgeois German family. Quick of wit and tongue, I was loath to remain in the social mold into which I was born. My predilection for flattery and deceit landed me, via a series of youthful escapades, in the shoes of a reluctant marquis who, like me, wanted no part of the role assigned him so arbitrarily by fate and family. Having switched identities, we parted company in Paris. The ex-marquis went incognito with his lover; while I set out on a world tour which had been arranged to take the marquis first to Lisbon, then onward by steamer to Argentina.
On the train to Lisbon, I made the acquaintance of a professor, Dom Antonio José Kuckuck, who invited me to call at his villa and meet his family. In the course of my visits I became enamored with the daughter, Zouzou. The first complication was her expected marriage to a colleague of Professor Kuckuck. Then, with my ship due to sail in a matter of days, I found myself in the embrace of Zouzou’s mother, Dona Maria Pia. At this point in the story, we are left hanging by Thomas Mann, or rather by that gaunt interloper who whisked the writer away before he could relate another word.
As I take up my own pen, in my leisure at the end of it all, to recommence the tale held so long in abeyance, I would ask to establish a compact with the reader concerning the credibility of the subsequent events that unfolded. For presently we must become acquainted with the estimable Sophie Tucker Vaughan, the first woman president of the United States of America, who demonstrated more than earthly powers to make my acquaintance and enlist me to her service.
To any familiar with my previous exploits, it should come as no surprise that I would consort with one of such rank; I merely need mention the long congenial meeting I enjoyed with King Carlos I, monarch of Portugal. Indeed that fortunate encounter would serve to flag my resumé as a “person of interest” to a higher power.
Enough said about the journey to come, offering a redemption of my crude, if flamboyant, rogue’s quest. In its scope, however, I must add that the very notion of history itself must be re-examined. As a number of possible futures become apparent, must we not also admit the preponderance of alternative pasts? Clearly I can provoke no argument in stating that time is all of a piece, comprising past, present, and future; and in that summation it presents no singularity, rather an infinite multiplicity.
To take but one most pertinent example: who exactly was, is, or will be “the first woman president”; and what scenario best describes her attainment of that office? This witness—both observer and participant—undertakes to offer here one such history, alongside my own serial misadventures. Now let us return to that divine moment, at the node between past and future, what was and what might have been.
The political landscape of the future US, as confronted by the “first woman president,” Sophie Tucker Vaughan, in Part III of The Last Book, is marked by a confrontation between the controlling Hierarchy and a rising decentralist movement, the Panarchists.
“I think the way human beings organize their affairs will experience the most significant paradigm level shift we’ve seen in the Western world since the end of the European feudal system hundreds of years ago. That’s how significant I think this shift will be. There are two key things that need to happen for this to occur. The first is technological innovation, and that’s already happening. The second is increased human consciousness. As Thoreau noted, in order for us to have greater self-determination we need to be ready for it. Are we ready? I think we’re getting there.
“Decentralization will be the defining trend of human existence on this planet going forward.” –Mike Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg blog
for Part I: Higher Calling
Thomas Mann, Eleanor Catton, Avi Sirlin, David Mitchell
for Part II: Limbo
Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, John Kennedy Toole, Tom Robbins
for Part III: The First Woman President
Margaret Atwood, James P. Hogan, Philip K. Dick, Starhawk, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, Kurt Vonnegut, Umberto Eco, Michael Crichton, Doris Lessing
Order The Last Book now from Amazon:
Key to Felix’s awakening to the realities of the twenty-first century is his discovery of a mysterious document in a top-secret government archive, with the foreboding title, The Last Book…
the way-backstory of The Last Book: Atlantis and Lemuria, a cartoon prequel: