Last Call America: Last Call Before Darkness Falls
Long Canyon Press, 2018
Contrarian literature, whether nonfiction or fiction, is often niche. Often, the difficulty in approaching literature with a clear and staunch conservative bent is one always has to be on guard against the prose turning into right wing propaganda. Typically, conservative fiction is premised on revisionist history or reactionary ‘what if’ scenarios of both the past and the present. Readers shouldn’t be too surprised by this.
Over the last decade young adult fiction rocketed to the top of best sellers on the backs of fantasies explicitly blending rejection of government control with adolescent rebellion. The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner series (and the blockbuster films following from them) all inflated fears of dark ruling powers leading us to a dystopian future where only the courage, innocence, and will power of youth could lead us out. It clicked with an entire generation (although, perhaps less because of any cultural moment or political movement than because libertarianism is inherently appealing to the adolescent mind).
Now, make no mistake, just because some work of popular literature or literary fiction is right of center or conservative in its point of view doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading or quality work. The vast majority of political thrillers are have a staunchly conservative bent–every Tom Clancy hero (most especially Jack Ryan) or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher–with heroes who are entertaining as well as morally complex. It’s a treat to read them, but like any treat we have to be careful not to gorge ourselves or risk destroying our palate. Contemporary literature has room for these stories because literature encompasses all experience. Thus, it is always welcoming of another variation on a theme, and this is where Debra Tash’s Last Call America resides.
In Tash’s dystopian United States, the global financial crisis of the aughts has cripple the nation. Rationing and martial law are banalities of daily existence. It’s never made quite clear just how our nation came to its knees, explanations are vague at best as is the rational for the Department of Homeland Security to be the last bastion of the government standing and essentially a hunta.
What is key for readers to understand and Tash’s prose moves swiftly and clearly to portray citizens under siege having lost the authority to control their government. For readers who prize the first and second amendments above all else, this novel will strike the sweet spot. Nearly every variety of populism we’ve seen come to prominence over the last few years finds a voice here as captain Jason Poole and Rebecca Sanders forge not just a personal bond but attempt to knit the Union back together. As such, Tash has written a very astute historical document, which should come to no surprise given hat just her love of history but her skill in relating it.
Tash is very clearly writing a ‘what if’ scenario novel imagining what would have to take place for second American Revolution against the 1% and foreign influence. She is able to write what many would consider a staunchly patriotic novel filled with action and the highest stakes patriotism can imagine. Thus, Last Call America is not for every reader, but those who find it compelling will certainly feel it resonate deeply within them.
About the Author
Debra Tash is an award winning American author, journalist and accomplished speaker. Her books have won multiple awards and been sold nationwide. Debra was born in Los Angeles where she honed her writing skills through various creative outlets including painting, with a few of her pieces touring internationally in Japan. She also worked as a Docent at the world renowned Getty Museum and Getty Villa where she gave tours and spoke on historical figures and art.
She gets her inspiration from current and past events, focusing on positive morals and uplifting themes. Her most recent book “Last Call America” focuses on the not so distant future and takes the current American political climate to a chilling collusion. From columnist Rich Eber’s review: “Last call America is a page turner…the pay-off is a thought provoking book which is well worth spending the time to read.”
Debra served as Editor in Chief of Citizens Journal, a Ventura County based online news site that covers current and breaking news in the Ventura and Los Angeles County. She has given lectures for such organizations as the DAR, The American Associated of University Women and the Southern California Federated Women’s Club. She has served as a panelist at the Historical Novel Society’s North American Conference.
Debra currently resides in Ventura County where she is a mother, activist and passionate about literacy and education for children.