Friday, June 21, 2024

Tiger Chair

Max Brooks hit a home run with his first novel, World War Z, in 2006 proving that he was an author with a knack for innovative military combat fiction. His 2024 release is a 50-page novella called Tiger Chair about an imagined Chinese invasion of the USA’s western coast.

The novel is told in the form of a letter home from a Chinese soldier occupying Los Angeles three years following the invasion of America. China took California and the land west of the Rocky Mountains but is now facing a nagging insurrection from Americans unwilling to settle for Chinese rule. Do you like the idea of modern guerrilla warfare on the streets of Hollywood? You picked the right novella.

In the process, the narrator tells his reader back home the story of the invasion and how it occurred. The recounting of the amphibious assault supported by a swarm of weaponized tiny drones was cinematic. In the process, the author takes some well-deserved shots at Hollywood’s kowtowing to the Chinese marketplace with censored media products and failing to recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan.

Because there’s not a linear plot with characters, Brooks was free to make the novella an extended thought experiment of how an invasion from China might play out. There are many astute observations about the different skill sets involved in winning a war vs. occupying a conquered nation. This is action fiction for smart people. Recommended. 

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