Book Review of On A Hill They Call Capital: A Revolution Is Coming
Matt Carson's first novel is about a group of good ol' country boys who decide it's time to begin the next American Rebellion with surprising and sometimes amusing twists and turns along the way. by Walt Thiessen
Monday, October 22, 2007
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.
The views expressed
in this article are those of Walt Thiessen only and
do not represent the views of Nolan Chart, LLC or its affiliates.
Walt Thiessen is solely responsible for the contents
of this article and is not an employee or otherwise affiliated
with Nolan Chart, LLC in his/her role as a columnist.
I definitely think this is some sort of blueprint. I read the book a month ago and enjoyed it as a fun read -- but then started reading some blogs that make a solid argument for some sort of code or plan. I read it again - and found things I had missed the first time. You're right - it isn't going to be an award winner based on prose -- but it is easily one of the most clever stories I've read in a long time. I think the numbers lead somewhere. This event is coming - and it's a nonviolent way to be part of a revolution - so I'm in. You should check out the blogs to learn more about the numbers. I'm still trying to put it together - but I guarantee there's a purpose for every number in the book (including the number of pages).