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Junior

by Ray Donley

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1141,256,866 (3.2)None
JOSHUA WAS SHOCKED TO HEAR HIS FATHER'S VOICE ON THE RECORDING. Junior How's it hanging, young man? If you are listening to this, that means I am dead and you are alive, which is of course exactly how I planned it. Yes, I knew the explosion was going to happen, and I made sure you and Pete were out of town when it did . . . Junior, first let me say that I am sorry about what happened. Second, I am sorry everyone is blaming you. Unfortunately, things are gonna get worse before they get better. But you have Jennings blood running through your veins, boy, and I know you can handle whatever happens. You are my only son and I love you very much. Thirty-year-old Joshua Jennings Jr. is the last living member of his family and the primary suspect in a terrorist bombing that killed the president, the vice president, and his own father. To make matters worse, Joshua discovers that his father planned the explosion and set up Joshua to take the blame. Overnight, the media transforms Joshua into a celebrity criminal. He rockets to first place in the Criminal Fantasy League standings. Feature films and bestsellers explore his motives for blowing up the president. A television personality proclaims Joshua's innocence so she can market "Let Him Be" T-shirts. the Baptist News Channel announces that Joshua is the Antichrist, and that the end of the world is near. Junior is Joshua's journal. It chronicles his three years as a fugitive on the run from law enforcement and vigilantes while he tries to figure out how he fits into his father's plan. When Joshua mysteriously disappears, the journal is discovered and becomes a worldwide bestseller, described by scholars and literary critics as "a classic study of the human condition." www.juniorthebook.com… (more)
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Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't think I want to live in whatever reality Junior was experiencing. Just the cable channels alone are enough to make my head spin. Satire and I usually aren't very good friends. It tends to fly over my head and gets lost somewhere between intent and understanding. A lot of Junior was funny in the way something is true/sad yet funny and yet I think the book was too long. I thought it was a great idea in concept but in actual execution, I wonder if it would have worked better as a short story/novella. It was definitely an interesting commentary on the world and the things people value and that point most certainly did not get lost on me. ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
Interesting book. Enjoyed it. ( )
  Johanne | Sep 15, 2015 |
You can read my full review at Quieted Waters.
Coca-Cola, prescription drug companies, and foreign countries sponsor anything and everything in Junior‘s America. Ray Donley writes this book as a farcical, extravagant mockery of American pop culture. Junior stretches into an imagined future, poking fun at many things about modern America, including our love of advertising, corporate sponsorship, and megabillion dollar sports industries. ( )
  QuietedWaters | May 22, 2013 |
Accused terrorist Joshua Jennings Junior’s diary entries follows his three year flight from/to justice in a futuristic American Society that includes the incorporation of Mexico into the United States and the movement of the Jewish homeland from Israel to North Dakota.

***
Senator Joshua Jennings had power and money. What the Senator wanted, the Senator got. Only this time, the Senator and his family, except for Junior, and all the key players for the upcoming presidential election, including the current President and Vice-President, died in an explosion at a political rally on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico.

Thanks to his father, Junior is tried and convicted by the press as the terrorist responsible when his alibi and all evidence of him being states away in Texas disappear. Now labeled the Antichrist, he zooms from being the Senator’s errand boy to first place contender in the Criminal Fantasy League standings. Much to his surprise, Juniore begins getting messages from his dead Senator father and help from special interest groups that owe the old man political favors.

Along the way, you find that the Senator was behind many of the major changes in society, such as the movement of the Jewish homeland from Jerusalem to North Dakota, the incorporation of Mexico into the United States, the removal of all male priests in the Catholic Church, and the export of prison inmates to Afghanistan to keep the peace.

First time author Ray Donley uses a journal format with limited footnotes to twist the typical tale of an innocent man accused of terrorism into a social commentary on politics, religion, culture, and life in general. Follow Junior’s flight after the explosion until his disappearance three years later and his mysterious emergence as a highly esteemed Apostle. ( )
  bemislibrary | Mar 4, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
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JOSHUA WAS SHOCKED TO HEAR HIS FATHER'S VOICE ON THE RECORDING. Junior How's it hanging, young man? If you are listening to this, that means I am dead and you are alive, which is of course exactly how I planned it. Yes, I knew the explosion was going to happen, and I made sure you and Pete were out of town when it did . . . Junior, first let me say that I am sorry about what happened. Second, I am sorry everyone is blaming you. Unfortunately, things are gonna get worse before they get better. But you have Jennings blood running through your veins, boy, and I know you can handle whatever happens. You are my only son and I love you very much. Thirty-year-old Joshua Jennings Jr. is the last living member of his family and the primary suspect in a terrorist bombing that killed the president, the vice president, and his own father. To make matters worse, Joshua discovers that his father planned the explosion and set up Joshua to take the blame. Overnight, the media transforms Joshua into a celebrity criminal. He rockets to first place in the Criminal Fantasy League standings. Feature films and bestsellers explore his motives for blowing up the president. A television personality proclaims Joshua's innocence so she can market "Let Him Be" T-shirts. the Baptist News Channel announces that Joshua is the Antichrist, and that the end of the world is near. Junior is Joshua's journal. It chronicles his three years as a fugitive on the run from law enforcement and vigilantes while he tries to figure out how he fits into his father's plan. When Joshua mysteriously disappears, the journal is discovered and becomes a worldwide bestseller, described by scholars and literary critics as "a classic study of the human condition." www.juniorthebook.com

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