When the bombs fell and the weather forecast became permanent nuclear fire, when flowers of destructive fusion blossomed leaving death in their wake, the least important question was immediately asked: who’s going to collect all of the taxes?
The IRS was the only institution to survive the human holocaust, and Arthur McDowell is a steadfast tax auditor craving the safety of the desk job due to him. However, his dreams will be put on hold as the IRS plans a census into new irradiated territory and he is forced to work with freelance Enforcer, Rabia Duke, who’s diet of drugs is hand to mouth. This will be a suicide mission, and neither is keen to see the other survive.
The denizens of the wastes have much to fear. Radiation, roving gangs of psychopaths, and starvation, but the thing they should fear most is bureaucracy…
…a happy bureaucracy.
Eric Bonner on Goodreads wrote:
I love Apoc/dystopian tales. That said, since I have read dozens of them, I have to admit that many have the same basic premise. A Happy Bureaucracy absolutely throws all of those similar plots in front of a huge sand storm and turns them into dust. Yes, there is a common enough reason for the dystopian world it is based in. But, that is where any similarities stop. The characters in this world are faced with a horror unspoken of by more squeamish authors. Sure, they write about plagues, starvation, zombies and other creatures that only want to maim or kill you. But, never has an author been brave enough to even mention the most horrific, terrifying, nerve-jangling (dare I say it?? Yes, I must warn you!) the IRS! While some may think this is no big deal (or worse, a SPOILER), they are wrong, so very wrong. Beware!
I strongly feel that this book should be read for the context of this sentence if for no other reason: 'His hideous wattle blew in the wind'. I was disgusted and deeply amused at the same time.
As you may be able to discern, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It made me stay awake late into the night! The wit and humor amused me, the horrors terrified me and the bad guys are even worse than I could have imagined and I have quite an imagination. I do feel that I should mention that there is a lot of cursing. I don't care for that part but I liked the story enough to overlook it. Are you still reading? Quickly, go read it for yourself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Happy Bureaucracy is M.P. Fitzgerald's tale of survival after "The Bombs" devoured the civilized world. But some things persist; human raiders (oh, yes!), scavenger scum (of course!), and the IRS (you bet yer bottom dollar!).
The story follows Arthur, an IRS tax agent, as he seeks safety from the wasted world by being good at his job, the reestablishment of taxation powers by the IRS. Almost too good, it seems. Then enters Rabia, a hired-gun Enforcer of the most unorthodox variety, charged with keeping Arthur's life and limbs intact. When she gets involved in Arthur's orderly life, things get very complicated, very quickly.
The pair's misadventures across the United Wastes in pursuit of life, liberty, and census data proved to be a page-burner that I just couldn’t put down until the very, very End.
If you want your United Wastes to have all the grit and twice the wit of the other Wastelands, look no further!