F.T.W.: Rise of the Anarchy March, By Russ Lippitt, 228 pgs.

Jan 26, 2021

What makes a book “punk”? The presence of punk characters? A narrative that reflects the shared ethos of the underground community? References to alternative music/culture? An elevated level of revolting violence and completely unnecessary foul language? F.T.W.: Rise of the Anarchy March checks every box, taking the reader on an epic journey through war-torn wastelands and beyond in a desperate struggle for post-apocalyptic freedom.

A trio of anarchist rebels—members of an anti-fascist group known as the Anarchy March—travel across the now-mostly-uninhabitable land formerly known as the United States of America. Along the way, they encounter bloody battles, monstrous freaks, street urchins, pimps, other punks (sometimes sketchy, sometimes not), hippies (sometimes sketchy, sometimes less sketchy), religious cults, and scores of zombie-like creatures known as “Nukies.” The Anarchy March crew are looking for some kind of sanctuary as well as a way to combat the absolutely heartless terror of the P.M. —aka the Prominent Municipality (the fascist government).

Lippitt’s novel is equal parts A Clockwork Orange, Mad Max, Repo Man, Blade Runner, and Logan’s Run, with a dash of Star Wars thrown in. Indeed, this book has all the fun, excitement, and rude humor of a classic 1980s action movie. Some of the “punk” aspects of this book seem a little over-the-top at first—characters with names like Doyle and Cutter are constantly flexing their punk attitude, telling each other to fuck off, et cetera—but once you get to know the characters a little, the hilarious overdose of attitude becomes one of the best parts of the book.

Despite appearances, however, F.T.W.: Rise of the Anarchy March is not all mindless nihilism and chaos: the political dichotomy that is the basis of the plot (and a very real element of today’s society) provides a nice lens through which the author explores a variety of issues: romantic relationships, careers, social norms in and out of groups, family, religion, death, and a whole lot more. That said, it’s a fun, funny, meaningful, and exciting read. –Buddha (Left Brain Writings, leftbrainwritings.com / Ravenhawk Books)