Friday, June 12, 2020

Dakota and the American Dream: Sameer Garach

Title: Dakota and the American Dream
Author: Sameer Garach
Genre: Satire
Published Date: December 25th 2019
Publisher: Mare Press

When ten-year-old Dakota becomes bored sitting next to his mother on a park bench, he drifts off and falls into a dream in which he follows a squirrel down a game of hopscotch until he finds himself in a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.
The satirical tale plays with many themes characteristic of America and its corporate culture as seen through the expert eyes of a child, giving the story popularity with adults as well as children. From a rudimentary perspective, the novella is about the trials and tribulations of growing up, or overweight, or old. But from another more complex one, it concerns ridiculous points of sharp humor, such as the American Dream, the rat race, racism in the workplace, the corporate ladder and hierarchy, office romance, an unhealthy love affair with body image, the obsession with prescription medication, the work and coffee culture, the constant fear of losing one’s job, the importance of golf in career success, happy hour and team-building exercises, age discrimination, and the diversity of dialect found in the United States.
To define the charm of the Dakota book—with those wonderful eccentric characters the Greenback Squirrel, the White Mouse, the Black Rat, the Bigwig, the Chairman, the Big Boss, the Westchester Whelp, the 800-pound Gorilla, etc.—as merely an adolescent arousal would convey a lack of proper understanding, for it really comprises a satire on language, a corporate allegory, a reflection of contemporary history, and a parody of twenty-first-century children’s literature.

*Thank you to the Author for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a honest and unbiased review*



Hello Fellow Readers,

I have for you Dakota and the American Dream, a book about a young child who falls into the land of corporate America. Honestly, I am not sure how I feel about this book, on one hand it handles a lot of sensitive topics that should be discussed, on the other hand Garach was a bit ambitious about it. Due to the fact that this is a book for children it just didn't have the the length to be able to discuss all of the topics as meaningfully as it needed to be covered.

The story itself is a bit fast paced, moving form scene to scene and chapter to chapter very quickly. Also, at first I did have a bit of trouble with the writing style. You can tell that Garach was trying to channel Carrol in his work. Once I got past the first chapter it didn't become an issue anymore. Considering that this book is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Though the Looking Glass, you can see many elements of that story throughout, just more modernized. Such as a green squirrel with a fitbit instead of a white rabbit with a pocket watch. I did enjoy the story but I will admit its not for everyone.

I do love Dakota, he is so innocent yet insightful. There's something in witnessing a child be put in situations that you have seen or be put into (You know, except for the people being animal parts) and him interpreting it in a child would, in a way you would never do. I also like how he relates each situation to one he's had (even if it is different) because that's what children do which is why children are so important.

Garach's writing is witty, intelligent and can easily paint a scene using a few words. I only wish the book was a bit longer so Garach could explore each topic further. Overall, if your into intelligent satire that really makes you pay attention and think then this book is for you.

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