Taji's Syndrome by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo
This 1988 'horror' is about the outbreak of a disease in the then future of 1995. A plague 'rampages' and victims are isolated and misunderstood, there is a nagging sense that this could have been so much better. There is paranoid bluster, false beliefs, a cultural theocracy and no intellectual heft. No one encourages benevolence and empathy, people harbour malice and there isn't the highest level of concern. People have a lifetime of regret and this isn't dreadfully sad.
It is beyond frustrating that this novel is astoundingly terrible. It is a purgatorial read. People are unnecessarily unhelpful. The social order of 1995 to 1998 is a joke. The disease is not a serious concern as it stalks the land unnoticed. There are spelling mistakes and a conspiracy.
There are loads and loads of characters. Why is Vietnam spelt Viet Nam? People over-react. People in quarantine have over 2000 videotapes to watch. Survivors of the disease get psychokinetic abilities. The back cover gives away the entire plot. Where is the ACLU during all this?
There are CB radios in cars in 1995, there is also an AIDS vaccine, methane car engines and stupid dated slang. There are print outs, a border policy refugees and mentions of Tunis Flus Two and Three and fundamentalists. A woman is described as exotic and where are the CDC?
The ending is ridiclious, there is no moral order just dissenting voices and this was not a cultural event of huge significance. This isn't heart wrenching. This defies all narrative conventions. People are rather disreputable. There are uncertain fates, profound regrets and shame is ingrained into people.
This does not darken into tragedy. This has a grim determination to be dour and miserable, in this prolonged whinge that has no constant tension. There is no mood of foreboding in this non epoch defining non-cultural phenomena which is not immediate and urgent. Idiots cause irremediable damage and this doesn't even have a certain amount of charm.
Idiots totally and utterly destory peoples lives. This is inadequate and has no deep unease. This was regrettably unsuprising. The terrible legacy of a mistake goes on. This had unrealised potential. This tries for shameless pathos about the devastating aftermath of a pandemic and FAILS. There is unchallenged behaviour.
There is off page unimaginable social upheaval and public anxiety and morons cannot fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. This does naught right and is full of continuing obstinacy and incessant mischief making. This was quite awful direness. It's downright baffling how truly grim this is. I feel only ridicule for this.
“Increase in toxic syndrome.”
“We were too dangerous to be permitted to live.”
“Sinned beyond all forgiveness.”
“Targets for a lot of very unpleasant attention.”
“Her respect for him had eroded steadily.”
“Great Lakes dysentery.”
“Makes it more dangerous than Bubonic Plague and Smallpox and Cholera all lumped together,”
“Did something socially gauche by dying the way he did.”