Book Review of On A Hill They Call Capital: A Revolution Is Coming

A group of eight friends from Northern Virginia decide one day during one of their regular drinking sessions that they're fed up with government corruption in the form of Social Security trust fund boondoggling, Patriot Act violations of individual rights, high taxes, and a skyrocketing national debt. Their solution? Revolution! Rebellion, really, in the form of a conspiracy to trash the IRS building in Washington, DC and kidnap members of Congress in order to make their point.

On A Hill They Call Capital: A Revolution Is Coming, by Matt Carson is a very short story (about 110 pages plus notes) written by an author who admits in his Author's Explanatory, “I am by no means a great writer….I do consider myself a storyteller — and I think this is a story that needed to be told.” It was published on July 4, 2007, a date I am sure was deliberately chosen as the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Whether that anniversary has some sort of numerological significance, I couldn't say. I'll leave that to others to figure out. The book uses a font which makes it appear that it was typed on an old typewriter. I'm sure the choice of font was a deliberate literary device.

He's right about not being a great writer; even the storytelling side is a bit short-shrift. When we reach the end, a significant number of storyline threads remain incomplete. This may be by design, signalling the idea that this story is merely the beginning of a larger story to be acted out in real life…or perhaps in future novels. Carson shows his humorous side by including in his Explanatory a page of randomly generated punctuation marks for the reader to use at his or her own discretion to correct grammatical errors in the text.

However, he may also be right that this is a story that needs to be told. I personally believe that our country needs revolution, but I also hope and pray that it doesn't end up turning into a bloody rebellion. I prefer supporting candidates like Ron Paul for President rather than engaging in civil disobedience. I probably wouldn't be welcome in his conspiracy of eight, but I at least appreciate what they're trying to accomplish.

The story is told by one of the eight conspirators. I live in Fauquier County, the section of Northern Virginia where Carson's novel takes place. So does Carson himself, who is a local entrepreneur with a website design and development business located on Main Street in the county seat of Warrenton. But unlike Carson, I've only lived in Warrenton for about three and a half years, whereas he has lived here all his life.

So when he wrote about the eight characters who make up the conspiracy to rebel, it made me wonder if they were based on real people. I asked him that. His reply was cryptic: “Can’t tell you too much right now but I can say they are 'based' on real people…”

Interesting! In this way, Carson leaves the question open and unanswered whether the novel is merely a work of fiction, a blueprint for a potential rebellion, or the initial journal from an actual rebellion-in-progress. Which is it? This columnist can't say, but I'm definitely intrigued.

On A Hill They Call Capital: A Revolution Is Coming will never win a Pulitzer Prize. It won't likely dent the New York Times Bestseller list, and it probably won't even reach the top 1,000 on amazon.com. But if you're as sick of our out-of-control government as the author is, you will likely find this short novel to be a welcome distraction from the nauseating nightmare our country has become.

You can purchase this book at Amazon by clicking here.


Walt Thiessen

As founder of nolanchart.com, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the website! My purpose with my column is the same as my purpose for the overall website. Libertarian ideas have been generally excluded from the public debate and ridiculed on those rare occasions when they have been included. This must change.

Rather than trying to force others to change their ways, I created this website to create an environment where all political views, including libertarian, could be expressed in a free yet respectful manner.

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