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Angel Land by Victor J. Banis

Angel Land (2009)

by Victor J. Banis

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In a postapocalyptic world, more or less one hundreds years in the future, the AIDS plague has evolved to its seventh stage; now to contract the virus, only a simple contact is needed, worst, even an indirect contact trough an object. Also the world is degenerated, and an extremist church has taken the power: the more tradiotionalist churches, Catholics, Jews and Baptists are considered heretics, and the homosexuals are relegated in ghettos, with the same confinement rules that are even too familiar for who knows history. But people doesn't know history: they can't learn from the past, since the past is lost. People remember bits of history and recreate their own personal history. San Francisco has one of the biggest ghetto, Angel Land, former The Castro, and among the people living there, legends and tales flow; the Parade is a big holiday, no one remember for which, Harvey Milk is a prophet, and people are waiting for his return, the Historic Landmarks (the Victorian House, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Headlands) are places that bound the captivity or the freedom...

Among all this, almost a Romeo and Juliet story takes place: Harvey Milk Walton brings a heavy name on his shoulder and starts the story like someone who cares only for his safety; but perhaps his name, or his good conscience, drives him toward another destiny. Elder Aram Johnson should be the enemy, one of those who push people like Harvey in the ghetto, but he is enthralled by Harvey; love for Aram is the power that will change his life.

The story is very complex and long, more than 220 pages of futuristic tale, but it's not at all boring. It has also its tender moment, along with some funny ones also. The love between Harvey and Aram, even if opposed, is easy, and they are really tender together; this is strictly a romance, not an erotic romance: there is not gratuitous sex, but only love. Love is a gentle companion of Harvey and Aram's path toward a different future, but it's not the main event in the story. And once again Victor J. Banis proves that he believes in bitter happily ever after: there is hope at the end of the path, but it's not simple and easy to reach it, and not at all immediate.

The book carries on a lot of messages: learn from the past, don't forget what was before you, be open to all the people, even to those who should be your enemy, never cease to fight and be always careful even when it seems that you have won, the evil can raise its head in every moment.

  elisa.rolle | Dec 2, 2008 |
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"Late in the 21st century--ravaged by the deadly Sept virus, the one time United States has disintegrated into The Fundamental Christian Territories, where Catholics, Baptists and Jews are registered as heretics, and gays are herded into walled ghettos: the Zones of Perversion. Harvey Milk Walton, a runner, finds his way to the ghetto of Angel Land, oldest of the territories, where a legend says that his long ago martyred namesake will return one day to lead his people to freedom--but even to speak of freedom, of leaving the FTC, is punishable by death. In a crumbling totalitarian society, where evil masquerades as piety, two men fall in love, and begin to dream of escape from Angel Land."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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