Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Economic Meltdown by Karen McHale

Book Details:
Economic Meltdown: A Family Preparedness Plan for Disaster
By Karen McHale
Genre: Fiction
Published 2010, The Fire Station Buddies, Inc.
Paperback, 140 pages
ISBN: 9780615410852

          It's 2012 -- Did the world end yet?
Inflation in the United States is at 27%, unemployment at 32%. The dollar is only worth 49 cents and the DOW can't seem to rise above 3,217. Gas is $15 a gallon and now there is no electricity. What if there was a meltdown of the United States financial system and the government isn't there to save you?
A man-made disaster is looming and is your family prepared for famines or runaway inflation that may send the US dollar into free fall. What would you do? How would you feed your family? Are you prepared to take care of yourself?
In Economic Meltdown, emergency planner Karen McHale takes you on a fast paced ride and shows you what could happen and how to prepare for it.
The purpose of this book is quickly understood to motivate and aid the reader to prepare for a "man-made disaster" of the magnitude that is illustrated through a fictional story that the author, Karen McHale, apparently believes is impending for the U.S.A. I won't address whether or not I believe such a disaster is imminent or not. The story takes up the first 132 pages of the book, and the remaining pages is a quick guide to self-sufficiency, with a step-by-step guide and divided by Pantry and Utilities.
What I will address is the text of the book itself, which, frankly, could use some work. I can be a stickler for grammar, and it is obvious to me that the author used the spelling and grammar check function that is found in your typical text-formatting program, such as Word. Simply having someone read over the book before publication could catch these errors. For example, starting on page 50, the word "panty" has replaced what should have been "pantry," not every time, but often enough to be obvious. Other things showed up in the text to show the author's weakness in writing fiction, such as this: "...the unspoken thought hung unspoken in the air..." (pg. 11).
The story itself is a thinly veiled attempt at teaching the reader what is already listed in the section at the end of the book. Much more of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of these preparations than to the development of the different characters. Towards the end of the book, time speeds up as the author skips ahead several times to fast forward the plot to 2012, with snapshots of plot to show the progress of the fictional family in its preparations for the economic disaster.
Honestly, this book would have been much better written had the author spent more time developing the different characters and made them unique and interesting to the reader, as well as gotten a few extra people to read the text before publication. McHale does not even bother with last names for this "typical American household." Sadly, except for the eight page guide at the end, it is all very forgettable.

The Cover: Though I don't have the cover pictured here, it is rather plain, a dark green cover with a slightly lighter green dollar sign melting into a big green puddle. Oh yes, and the title is white with a broken up font. Green on green means the picture just gets lost.

First Line: "Sam sat at the breakfast table browsing the news on the Internet, enjoying the quiet, cool breeze blowing through the kitchen window."
How boring is this opening, and why would I want to continue? The text does not sell itself.

Read For: Off the Shelf Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*


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