Radio Free Vermont: Book summary and reviews of Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben

Radio Free Vermont

A Fable of Resistance

by Bill McKibben

Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben X
Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2017
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.

As the host of Radio Free Vermont - "underground, underpowered, and underfoot" - seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location." With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.

In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever - seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In a time when smart comedy is essential to survival, McKibben's shrewdly uproarious and provocative fable of resistance is exhilarating." - Booklist

"Starred Review. With great care and humor, debut novelist McKibben's (The End of Nature; Oil and Honey) spirited and thought-provoking modern fable will have readers grappling with the ethical questions of how and when resistance is necessary." - Library Journal

"Rollicking…With a playful and quick-moving plot that belies the seriousness of the book's environmental and political message, McKibben's stirring call for recognizing the value and power of smallness in a globalized world makes for a vital and relevant fable." – Publishers Weekly

"A timely yarn that, though a little obvious and a little clunky, makes for a provocative entertainment." – Kirkus

"Is it a surprise that the debut novel from one of our best-known environmental activists focuses on grassroots resistance? [A] zany, witty, and altogether timely imagination of modern resistors." – The Millions

"Only Bill McKibben could set out to write his first novel and produce an addictive caper loaded with craft beer, contract spies, and chase scenes on cross-country skis! This is James-Bond-meets-A-Prairie-Home-Companion and no one but McKibben could pull it off. He does it with such heart, grace, wisdom and fun that I just couldn't put it down. A story as outrageous as our times." - Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

"What a delicious pleasure to read Radio Free Vermont - a weird and utterly joyous if sometimes hair-raising romp through the dark Wonderland of life under Trump. Bill McKibben is a brilliant storyteller, and I love this book, which is balm for our troubled times." - Jay Parini, author of The Last Station

"I hope no one secedes, but I also hope that Americans figure out creative ways to resist injustice and create communities where everybody counts. We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact." - Bernie Sanders

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Author Information

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he's gone on to write a dozen more books, including Eaarth and Oil and Honey. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. McKibben lives in Vermont.

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