Eric Lotke is a pal. Our sons have been in Hebrew school together for years.
While I was frittering away time tutoring on Wednesday nights, Eric was often hunched over a laptop in the lobby, in the library, and, during a period of shul renovation, in all sorts of more out-of-the-way nooks and/or crannies.
Sometimes, at a free moment, we'd visit. Sometimes, I'd see he was so utterly engrossed in his work, I wouldn't even bother approaching.
Now Eric is a do-gooder. Like me, he's one of those people who went to law school with visions of putting the law to work for the marginalized, the poor and the powerless. I wound up at Legal Aid. Eric wound up at a prisoners' legal services project.
So I figured, on the nights he seemed engrossed, that he was busy writing some critical piece of policy analysis or maybe some brief that would get a Muslim prisoner some decent kosher food.
This is a man, after all, who once flushed every toilet in the District of Columbia Correctional Facility in pursuit of the barest of minimal hygiene facilities for D.C. prisoners, whether they were incarcerated in D.C. or warehoused in Ohio, where the D.C. government had subcontracted out its responsibilities to a rapacious, for-profit corrections company.
I was wrong. He was birthing his first novel, 2044.
It has now come out. You should read it.
Better yet, you should buy it.
This blog post is waaaay overdue. I had hoped to put it up long ago, when Eric first gave me the word that it was out and he'd already put up a posting on his own blog.
But events intervened. I love the guy, but I'm not about to mislead a loyal readership that numbers, at last count, in the high teens. I finally picked up the book this week and finished it. Voraciously.
Here's where I get to pretend to be both Siskel AND Ebert:
Two thumbs up for 2044!
It starts from an interesting premise, it's a good read, and it's thought-provoking. I daresay it's the best first novel you'll read this year.