Item description for Prince of Christler-Coke by Neal Barrett Jr....
Set in a future where the power of big corporations has reached unbelievable heights, this sardonic and humorous story traces the adventures of Asel Iacola, former head of the Christler-Coke corporation, who has been banished to a corporate prison after a hostile takeover. Undaunted, and with the help of fellow deposed corporate noble Sylvan Lee-McCree, Asel escapes with hopes of confronting his rival, Jackie-Cee of the Disney-Dow corporation. During his escape he learns to rely on himself as he is almost hung by the TechsMechs Rangers of Oklahomer, sold by the hustlers of Two-kum-curry to the Nones of Our Lady of Reluctant Desire, and befriended by a mechanical bear. Making his way across a nation ruled by big business, Asel is confronted by the country's forgotten poor, and discovers the enormous gulf between the haves and have-nots created by companies like Christler-Coke.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2004
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846282 ISBN13 9781930846289
Reviews - What do customers think about Prince of Christler-Coke?
A Trip through Trash Mar 14, 2007
Prince Asel loses his position in this future of corporations turned tiny states.
This novel takes some seeds of interesting ideas and then...I don't know what it does. It is plain awful.
What the.....? Jul 25, 2005
The writing flows well enough, but that's just about the only good thing I can say about this ridiculous mess. I have no idea what Barrett was aiming at, but he certainly misses the mark with this book. What on earth is supposed to be the point of this?
We begin with the well-used meme of the overpriviledged scion of a wealthy family being brought down by his enemies and cast into poverty. Except it's not really poverty, just som sort of horribly idealized middle-class lifestyle where he must fend for himself and (gasp!) WORK instead of being waited on hand and foot. This is mildly amusing for a page or two, but once you realize that no explanations are forthcoming the fish-out-of-water stuff rapidly loses what little allure it ever had. Why is our protagonist here? Is this what the rest of the world is like? Is his world of wealthy indolence an aberration? Is his incredible ignorance curable by harsh experience? Don't expect any answers because there simply aren't any in this book.
Asel wanders through the book like the whining, hapless idiot that he is. He encounters other characters at various times, but they all seem to be bizarre exceptions to the rules, just as he is. In fact, there's no one who could be called normal ANYWHERE in the entire book! ARe we supposed to accept the waitress/whore-with-the-heart-of-gold character as normal? Who knows? At no point do we ever get a context in which to place our characters. This is our world, but what happened? Why are certain areas completely desolated? Why do the Asians flock here to buy crappy souvenirs? How does the economy work? The government? Who's responsible for anything? No one can tell you, because no one knows.
There's a prison break, a road trip, a number of captures and escapes and finally a dramatic climax in the sequoia forest of Northern California, but you won't care. The characters are thin to begin with and, despite being smacked in the face with their own ignorance repeatedly, never show any signs of change or development. After whining incessantly about how he needs to reclaim his former glory, Asel suddenly does a 180 and decides to live humbly in a mountain hut at the end of the book. Why? We're never told. We're given a hint of character growth when one of his companions swings by years later and tells him it's 'time' to bear arms again, but we never learn why, or against whom these arms are to be born. But at this point we simply want the book to end.
So what point is Barrett trying to make? The world is over-commercialized and headed for doom? People are stupid? Rich folks are pampered? None of this is new, original or even particularly interesting. So why read this book?