Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Book Review: Population Zero by Wrath James White

When Todd was just a child, he learned that sometimes it was necessary to sterilize or euthanize animals in order to keep their population from growing too rapidly. It was the humane thing to do, the best thing for the environment. Yet, every day at his job at the Welfare Department, Todd sees the dregs of humanity multiplying unchecked, overburdening the earth with a tidal wave of humanity. But if he can convince them not to reproduce, if he can convince everyone to voluntarily sterilize themselves, then he might just prevent the coming population explosion. And those who can't be convinced… 

Population Zero is the story of an environmental activist named Todd Hammerstein who is on a mission to save the planet. In just 50 years the population of the planet is expected to double. But not if Todd can help it.

My Review: 
When Todd's dog has puppies that the family can't afford, he is distraught about them being destroyed when humans do not suffer the same fate for kids they can't afford. Now an adult, Todd is disgusted by his welfare job, watching scrounging wasters pop out babies with no thought for the environment. Todd now has a mission to stop them by any means necessary.

OK, pay attention now-if you are offended by abortion, gorefests and murder then don't even think of picking up this book. It is the most graphic horror book I've read with descriptions of torture, forced abortion and vasectomy, and is not for the weak stomached. I also thought that it was twisted, funny and ironic and very well written.

You can fully understand Todd's frustration as a man who cares about the planet. Every day he watches pregnant women demand food stamps and welfare payments as they prepare to pop out yet another kid that they can't afford. Drug addicts having mutated children because they won't stop using. Men impregnating multiple women then needing a handout. And his hero has just been arrested for trying to add a drug to the water supply to make people sterile as a population control method. So now it is all up to Todd to sort things out, one case at a time. It is his methods that turn him into a raging psycho.

Todd starts by trying to persuade women to have abortions and gets their tubes tied in return for him putting through their welfare claims. He has a small success with a client or two but few are convinced by his arguments including a man who has fathered several children. It is time for Todd to force these people to do what he suggests through kidnap and operations without pain relief. It is shocking to see someone do what Todd does to other humans in the name of saving the planet but I couldn't help laughing at the crazy situations that he gets into. I mean, most people with a brain would realise that kidnapping a man and giving him a vasectomy will not end up well. It was pretty funny to see Todd suddenly understanding that he will be getting reported to the police for this and trying to work out what the hell to do next.

The situations get crazier as he plans to abort the baby of a drug addict and tie her tubes with a helpful internet guide to the procedure. Then there is the problem of what to do about his pregnant ex girlfriend who is now a lesbian, and the home for women who have been persuaded not to abort their babies. Todd is knee deep in trouble(and gore) and I just found this gross bloodfest to be full of dark humour despite the disturbing plot. Todd is bothered by the fact that he might be a sociopath or a psychopath during his evil activities and these worries made me snigger.

If you like Jack Ketchum and Edward Lee and don't mind the shocking and gory content, then you might well enjoy this short novella.
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