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In the near future, fresh food is scarce, controlled either by the government or shady underground operatives. Water is rationed. Unemployment is growing, sending millions of people to live on the street. Those with the means distract themselves behind their screens from the impending apocalypse, and while America elects a new president, the world is on the verge of nuclear war.

Anarchy and Other Lies is a farcical look at modern society through the lens of new age everyman, Jake Anderson, as he transforms from a silverware designer to reluctant vigilante, living on the outskirts of society with a pair of terrorists. Anarchy peels back the many mini-catastrophes taking place right under our noses and examines our inability and disinterest in confronting them.

The story follows Jake as he is pulled aimlessly through a dying world. Searching for a purpose, he falls in love with a mysterious pink-haired woman. At first, Jake is eager to impress Sam, but the longer he stays trapped in her orbit, listening as she waxes poetically about revolutionaries she doesn’t seem to understand, the more he becomes disenchanted with both her and her mission to sow chaos.

McKinnell is a top-tier storyteller. Anarchy and Other Lies reads like Pat Frank through the lens of Mike Judge.

—Connor de Bruler, author of Goodbye, Moonflower

“A pungent story of innocence lost in a world gone badly wrong ... a treasure chest full of great phrases, observations and survival tips.”

— Pete Peru, author of The Reeking Hegs

Jesse McKinnell’s novel, Anarchy and Other Lies, is immediate and vivid storytelling. An existential America is filled with left-behinders who queue for fresh food but survive on nacho Go-Bars. When a dulled man rebels against his empty life, the consequences are sharp and unexpected.

—M Verant, author of Power in the Age of Lies and The Culling Gods

Anarchy and Other Lies presents the near future we all know is coming—the one in which bees are almost a thing of the past, news and toxicity alerts flash across the lenses of our electronic glasses, and ration stations are needed because droughts have killed off crops. Poised for beauty and bleakness, mendacity and madness, Jesse McKinnell delicately handles a misguided search for love and hope amidst the inevitable disorder of a crumbling world.”

—Nathan Elias, author of The Reincarnations

“Anarchy will mean something different to you from what it means to me. The very concept of anarchy is therefore anarchic, as Jesse McKinnell’s book sets out to suggest. But can we believe in it, even if we do not agree on what it is? If our own personal coordinates, plotted on the axes of our domestic and professional existences, are clues to how we interpret any concept, then my own idea of anarchy will be initiated by The Sex Pistols of the late 1970s and re-examined now, on a fulcrum approximately mid-point between those terrifying boyhood memories of punks and a notional future in which I imagine this energetic and splenetic novel to be set. In a world in which a tomato will cost you $15, there is – perhaps – the predictable dystopic fear and loathing, which is set aside pettiness and the hopelessness that was explored by the Miserabilist Movement of the 1990s. Here, anarchy has a pedigree, and where joy is dampened, the tensions tauten.”

—David Mathew, author of Nostalgia’s Boat