The Heart Goes Last is a dystopian American horror story taken to a farcical extreme, complete with a bevy of Elvis impersonators and robot sex toys.
As part of a financial crisis, Stan and Charmaine are forced to live in their car, outrunning roving gangs and other hostiles in the streets as society disintegrates. To escape poverty, they willingly sign up for a twin city prison program designed to offer employment and housing for all, where citizens rotate through prison and regular life one month at a time. Much like Hotel California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
I found the characters flat and wooden — Stan is an unsatisfied lust bucket with a single-track mind and Charmaine — the prison’s Stepford wife angel of death — is vapid and empty as a soap bubble. The plot devolves far past satire into farce. Without any characters to root for, this book wasn’t for me.
— February, 2016
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